Water Polo Heads South to Face SDSU, UC Irvine and Long Beach State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/13/2001

March 13, 2001

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STANFORD IN REVIEW: The No. 4-ranked Cal women's water polo team (7-6, 1-2 MPSF) fell to undefeated and No. 1-ranked Stanford, Mar. 10, at the Spieker Aquatics Complex, 9-3. The game was Stanford's from the start as Cardinal's Brenda Villa scored twice in the first quarter, before Stanford's Gardner put the Cardinal up 3-0 at the end of the quarter. Cal began the second quarter with a new surge of energy on offense, however, Stanford goalie Jackie Frank was relentless in front of the cage, recording four of her ten saves in the quarter. Julie Arnold tried to get Cal back into the game, however, three of her four shots were blocked by Frank. Villa scored twice more, putting Stanford up 5-0, before the Cardinal scored with one second remaining in the half. Stanford maintained the 8-0 lead going into the fourth quarter before Laura Graham put the Bears on the scoreboard, finding the back of the cage on a Cal 6-on-5 possession. Two series later, junior Julia Cesnik fired a shot past Frank from the two-meter position. Freshman Ericka Lorenz scored with 1:53 remaining from the two-meter position, however the three-goal fourth quarter for the Bears would not be enough.

SJSU IN REVIEW: Cal had the upper hand the entire match, as seven players got on the scoreboard for the Bears, giving Cal an 11-5 win. Junior Brenna Fleener led all scorers with three goals, as she recorded her second hat trick of the season. The Bears scored on their first possession on a shot from Laura Graham. Cal jumped to a 4-1 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first on a two-meter shot from junior Julia Cesnik. The only goal of the second quarter came on a Cal man-up advantage, where Brenna Fleener scored the first of her team-leading three goals. The Spartans tried to cut the lead, however, they could not get the ball past senior goalie Fana Fuqua who recorded two of her six saves in the second quarter. From the start of the second half until early in the fourth quarter, Cal and San Jose State traded goals, however the Bears had put the game out of reach for the Spartans.

BROWN IN REVIEW: Cal got on the board early, scoring on their second possession of the first when Brenna Fleener notched the assist, as junior two-meter player Julia Cesnik scored the goal. Fleener was the next Bear to find the cage, as she stole a Brown pass and took it the length of the pool for the score. Irwin also notched the first of her team-leading three goals. After Irwin and Lorenz scored, putting the Bears up 5-0, Cal put in a new group of six field players. For the rest of the game, Cal was in cruise control as eleven players tallied at least one goal in the game. Two-meter freshman Lindy Spieker scored her first goal as a Golden Bear, giving Cal a comfortable 11-1 lead at the half. Freshman goalie Lauren Dennis played the second half of the game, notching two saves and giving up a goal on a Brown man-up possession.

A LOOK AT SDSU: No. 11-ranked San Diego State Aztecs (10-5, 2-1 MPSF) are coming off a recent 6-4 win over No. 12 UC San Diego, Mar. 9, giving the Aztecs a six game winning streak. On Feb. 16, the Aztecs defeating Cal's other opponent this week, UC Irvine, 17-8. Freshman Holly Hartzell paces the Aztecs in scoring and should be a key player to watch in upcoming matchups.

A LOOK AT UC IRVINE: The UC Irvine Anteaters have struggled this year in water polo, only winning one game thus far. The Anteaters (1-11, 1-3 MPSF) recently lost to Hawaii, 15-6, on March 9. A key win for UC Irvine came when they defeated Pacific 8-7 in OT behind the hot hand of freshman Melissa Fernandez, who scored four goals and earned MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week Honors for her efforts.

A LOOK AT LBSU: The Long Beach State 49ers (7-6, 0-3 MPSF) recently lost, 18-2, to No. 2 UCLA, March 11. The 49ers goalie Amanda Wightman recorded eight saves on the day, and has been consistent in front of the cage. LBSU freshman Angelica Garcia earned MPSF Player of the Week honors after notching nine goals and helping lead the Beach to a fifth place finish at the UC Santa Barbara Gaucho Invitational, Feb. 24-25. Garcia tallied a career-best five goals in the 49ers win over No. 11 UC Davis in the opening round of the tournament.

BEAR NOTES: The Cal women's water polo team, (all-time record 145-34, .810 in five years as a varsity sport), has placed second three times (1996, '97, '98) and fourth twice ('99, '00) at the Collegiate National Championship. In 2000, the Bears finished 28-7 and placed fourth at the National Collegiate Championship. Top returners for Cal are senior driver Beth Irwin and goalie Fana Fuqua. Last year, Irwin earned second-team All-American honors and second-team all-MPSF honors, while Fuqua was named first-team All-American, MPSF Goalkeeper of the Year, team co-MVP with All-American Colette Glinkowski.