Sept. 3, 2011
BERKELEY - The No. 2-ranked Cal men's water polo team concluded an impressive first day of the 2011 season, defeating No. 14 Santa Clara, 21-3, behind seven goals from senior attacker Ivan Rackov and 13 saves from senior goalie Wil Toppen. Earlier in a morning match the Golden Bears defeated No. 13 UC Davis, 16-5, as part of the Cal Bear Invitational held at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Other matches of the Cal Bear Invitational included Pacific defeating Santa Clara, 11-2, and Pacific narrowly topping UC Davis, 8-7.
The Bears had a dominating effort against the Broncos, outscoring Santa Clara, 9-1, in the second period, including an 8-0 run. Nine different players scored for Cal in the contest. Besides Rackov, the 2010 National Player of the Year, senior Cory Nasoff added four goals to help power the Bears' offense in the afternoon match.
Rackov led Cal with five goals in the morning game against UC Davis and senior Luka Saponjic added four goals. Toppen had eight saves against the Aggies. Rackov ended the two matches Saturday with 12 goals, eight steals and seven assists. Toppen ended with 21 saves in eight quarters.
"I thought this was a nice way to open the season," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "We got a chance to play a lot of people and had an opportunity to see how we would react against our opponents. I was pleased."
The Bears will next enjoy the week off before venturing to the NorCal Invitational, Sept. 17-18, at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.
Cal's 2011 squad is ranked No. 2 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association preseason poll and is tied with USC for first place in the MPSF Preseason Coaches' Poll. After finishing as the national runner-ups in 2010, the Bears will be attempting to win their NCAA-record 14th national men's water polo title in 2011.
California 21, Santa Clara 3
Santa Clara 1 1 1 0 - 3
California 4 9 2 6 - 21
Santa Clara Goals: Theo Nasser, James Case, Jimmy Moore
Santa Clara Goalie Saves: Michael Wishart 3 (first half), John Nash 4 (second half)
California Goalie Saves: Wil Toppen 13
Cal 16, UC Davis 5
UC Davis 2 1 1 1 - 5
California 6 2 4 4 - 16
UC Davis Goals: Aaron Salit 4, Trevor Allen
UC Davis Goalie Saves: Kevin Peat 8