Feb. 5, 2008
This Week in Cal Water Polo
California plays its final home game until March on Thursday against No. 4 Hawaii at 7 p.m. The Golden Bears will travel to Stanford to partake in the competitive Stanford Invitational, where they will meet No. 2 USC, No. 11 Arizona State and No. 3 Stanford. This week's games will be Cal's highest ranked competition thus far in the 2008 season. After last weekend, the Bears are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play after beating Pacific, 14-3, No. 7 San Jose State, 9-5, and Sonoma State, 21-4.
California Off to Best Start in 11 Years
With a 4-0 record, the 2008 Golden Bears have tied the second best start in program history - the 1999 and 1998 squads began their seasons 4-0. If Cal defeats Hawaii, the 2008 team will tie for the best start in women's water polo school history of 5-0, which was achieved by the 1997 Bears, who were national runners-up. Additionally, the 57 goals that Cal has scored in its first four games is a new school record through the first four games of play.
Stuart Named MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week
California senior goalie Heather Stuart was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Mikasa Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 4, it was announced Monday. In Cal's conference opener and 14-3 win over Pacific on Jan. 30, the Moraga, Calif., native had five saves between the posts for the Bears. The highlight of Stuart's week came Feb. 2 when she had 11 saves in the 9-5 victory over the previously undefeated No. 7 San Jose State. The 6-3 senior grabbed two in one quarter of work in the 21-4 dismantling of Sonoma State on Feb. 3.
Scouting the Rainbow Wahine
No. 4 Hawaii opens its season at Pacific on Wednesday evening before traveling to Berkeley. The Rainbow Wahine are projected to finish fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after posting a 17-10 overall record season and taking fourth in the MPSF. Cal leads the all-time series, 20-5, and went 3-0 against Hawaii last season, including a 5-4 overtime win at the UC Irvine Tournament.
Scouting the Stanford Invitational
For the seventh consecutive year, the Bears will travel to the Stanford Invitational on Feb. 9-10. Cal will play No. 2 USC (1-0) and No. 11 Arizona State (6-1) on Feb. 9 and then No. 3 Stanford (1-0) on Feb. 10. Cal will play either No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Hawaii, No. 7 San Jose State or No. 14 Michigan on Sunday afternoon depending on the results of the tournament. Cal has not beaten Stanford or USC since the 2000 season but the Bears lead the all-time series against the Arizona State, 8-0. The Golden Bears posted a 2-2 record at last season's Invitational with wins over No. 20 Indiana (Feb. 3, 13-5) and No. 5 Hawaii (Feb. 4, 5-2) and losses to No. 2 UCLA (Feb. 3, 10-2) and No. 2 Stanford (Feb. 4, 7-5).
Last Week in Cal Water Polo
The Golden Bears opened conference play on Jan. 31 with a 14-3 victory at Pacific. Cal established a key 5-1 first-half lead over visiting San Jose State on Feb. 2 to beat the previously undefeated No. 7 Spartans, 9-5. Cal easily handled Sonoma State on Feb. 3, 21-4, which was the highest number of goals scored by the Bears since Jan. 1, 2007 when they scored 24 against Pacific.
On the Pool Deck with head Coach Richard Corso
On playing Hawaii: "For this early in the season, it's a big match from the perspective of No. 4 [Hawaii] versus No. 5 Cal, but more importantly, it's an MPSF game. Both teams will be playing very, very hard to get those two points in the conference."
On the Stanford Invitational: "I'm not concerned about the tournament. The most important thing for us is our conference games. To get an opportunity to play these teams is great but the most important thing is concentrating on our league games. We'll do a lot of different things. We'll mix up some defenses and our rotations. It may have an effect on the national rankings but our conference games are the most important things because they determine who goes to the NCAA Tournament."
The Golden Bears in the MPSF
With the wins over UOP and SJSU, the Bears currently sit atop the MPSF standings at 2-0. Cal has not won its first two conference games since the 2000 season when the Bears went on a 7-0 MPSF streak at the beginning of conference play. Sophomore two-meter Grace Reynolds is tied for seventh in the MPSF with 10 goals (2.50 goals/game) and senior defender Molly Hayes is in 13th with nine goals (2.25 goals/game). Senior Heather Stuart's work between the posts - 10.00 saves/game - places her third amongst conference goalies. California's stellar defense is third in the MPSF, allowing just 4.50 goals per game.
Cal Tabbed for Third-Place Finish
The California women's water polo team was predicted to tie for third place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, according to a preseason coaches' poll released Jan. 18. The Golden Bears, who tied with Stanford with 107 points, earned one first-place vote. UCLA, which has won three straight national championships and return three scoring leaders from last season's squad, took first place in the poll with 132 points and 11 first-place votes.
Bears Ink Four Recruits
Four high school recruits have signed national letters of intent to play for California. Emily Csikos, a member of the Canadian junior national team from 2004-06, is a current senior national team member. Lindsay Dorst, the only United States native to sign a NLI with Cal, is an All-American goalkeeper and member of the USA youth team. Athina Vazeos only began playing water polo five years ago but has quickly transformed into an elite athlete at the national level in Canada and has helped her club team to multiple national championships. Libby McLaren amassed a multitude of awards and championships while playing for Australian club teams and is a standout on the Miramonte HS team.
California Record When Game decided by 5 goals or less 1-0 Leading at halftime 4-0 Trailing at halftime 0-0 Tied at halftime 0-0 Went into overtime 0-0 Leading by 5 or more at halftime 2-0 Holding opponent under 10 goals 4-0 Scoring 1-8 goals 0-0 Scoring 9-15 goals 3-0 Scoring 16-25 goals 1-0 Playing a higher ranked opponent 0-0 Playing a lower ranked opponent 2-0 Playing an unranked opponent 2-0
2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Standings
MPSF Overall Streak vs. Cal (2008) 1. California <5> 2-0 4-0 Won 4 n/a 2. San Jose State <7> 1-1 5-1 Won 1 0-1 3. UCLA <1> 0-0 5-0 Won 5 0-0 3. Long Beach State <13> 0-0 2-0 Won 2 0-0 3. UC Santa Barbara <17> 0-0 2-0 Won 2 0-0 3. CS Northridge <18> 0-0 2-0 Won 2 0-0 3. USC <2> 0-0 1-0 Won 1 0-0 3. Stanford <3> 0-0 1-0 Won 1 0-0 3. UC Irvine <9> 0-0 1-0 Won 1 0-0 3. Arizona State <11> 0-0 6-1 Won 6 0-0 3. Hawaii <4> 0-0 0-0 Won 0 0-0 3. San Diego State <6> 0-0 0-0 Won 0 0-0 13. Pacific 0-2 0-2 Lost 2 0-0
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