No. 3 Cal Men's Water Polo Hosts Annual NorCal Open
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  10/13/2005

Oct. 13, 2005


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Sat.-Sun., Oct. 15-16 NorCal Open,
Spieker Aquatics Complex/Miramonte HS,
Berkeley/Orinda, Calif.	All Day

BEAR BITES: No. 3-ranked California (10-2, 0-1) will host the 16-team NorCal Open, Oct. 15-16, at Spieker Aquatics Complex and the Bill Brown Aquatics Center at Miramonte High School in Orinda. The Golden Bears will be looking to rebound from a 7-4 loss last Saturday to defending national champion UCLA at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. The week before, Cal had an impressive 9-5 victory over Bay Area rival Stanford, Oct. 1 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, led by junior All-American and Oct. 4 MPSF Mikasa Co-Player of the Week John Mann's four goals, and nine saves from senior goalie Nate Bennett. The Bears are strong contenders for the 2005 NCAA title, featuring returning Mann (team-leading 60 goals in 2004), Andrija Vasiljevic (honorable mention All-American, 39 goals) and Marty Matthies (honorable mention All-American, 14 goals). The Bears also have Bennett, who recorded 216 saves in 29 matches last season, and junior attacker Brian Bacharach, the team's second leading scorer in 2004 with 48 goals. Mann, Matthies, Bennett, sophomore Michael Sharf and freshman Shea Buckner are all members of the USA Senior National Team Training Roster for the 2008 Olympic Games.

ABOUT THE NORCAL OPEN: The NorCal Open features 15 teams ranked in the Collegiate Top 20 poll. Bracket A consists of No. 3 Cal, No. 8 Long Beach State, No. 12 Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Cruz. Bracket B includes No. 2 USC, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 9 Pacific and No. 18 Santa Clara. Bracket C has No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 UC San Diego, No. 9 St. Francis and No. 16 Air Force. Bracket D features No. 1 UCLA, No. 7 Pepperdine, No. 14 UC Davis and No. 15 UC Santa Barbara. On Oct. 15 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, Cal will face UC Santa Cruz at 10:20 a.m., and if the Bears win, they would play the winner of Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State at 5 p.m. If Cal wins both of its matches Saturday, it would play at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at Spieker versus the winner of Bracket D (UCLA, Pepperdine, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara). If Cal wins that match, it will play in the tournament championship at 4:10 p.m. at Spieker. The Bears last captured the NorCal Tournament in 2003 when Cal upset then-No. 1-ranked USC in overtime in the semifinals and upended No. 2-ranked and host Stanford in sudden-death overtime. The last time the Bears hosted the NorCal Tournament was in 2002, with Cal finishing third. Complete bracket and results will be available on the Cal men's water polo page on

NOTING CAL'S NORCAL OPPONENTS: The Bears will open the 2005 NorCal Open versus UC Santa Cruz, a team Cal defeated 16-2 on Oct. 2 at Spieker Aquatics Complex, led by led by two goals apiece from Bacharach, freshman Trent Calder, and sophomores Zac Monsees, Kevin Platshon and Jeff Tyrrell. If the Bears make it to the semifinals, they will likely face UCLA, a team which Cal has split two matches with this season - winning 8-7 in overtime in the third place match of the SoCal Open Sept. 18, and falling 7-4 last Saturday in Pasadena.

GOLDEN BEARS TO WATCH: John Mann, center, JR - 2004 first-team All-American; 2004 first-team All-MPSF; team-leading 25 goals in 2005; sixth in MPSF with 2.08 goals per game; 107 career goals. Andrija Vasiljevic, attacker, JR - 2004 Honorable mention All-American; MPSF third team; 14 goals in 2005; 89 career goals. Marty Matthies, center back, JR - 2004 Honorable mention All-American; considered the team's top all-around player and defender; team-high 18 steals in 2005. Nate Bennett, goalie, SR - 2005 team captain; 2004 MPSF honorable mention; 66 saves in 2005; third in MPSF with 4.95 goal against average; 377 career saves. Brian Kinsel, center, JR - 2004 MPSF honorable mention; 76 career goals. Brian Bacharach, attacker, JR - 2005 team captain; 17 goals in 2005, 83 career goals. Michael Sharf, attacker, SO - 15 goals in 2005, 37 career goals; Tom Kurth, center, SR - 2005 team captain; 15 career goals.

HEAD COACH Kirk Everist: Fourth year at Cal, 70-30 (.700). A 2004 inductee into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame and a member of the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame, Everist was named 2002 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year after guiding his alma mater to the MPSF title and first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1995 in his first year as head coach. A 1990 Cal graduate, Everist led the Bears to consecutive national championships in 1987 and 1988, earning All-American status three straight seasons (1986-88) and NCAA Player of the Year honors in 1988. He went on to play for the USA National Team for nine years (1988-96) and competed in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Everist's staff includes associate head coach Boyd Lachance, who is in his fourth season, and Sean Nolan, a 2000 USA Olympic goalie who is in his first season. Nolan was a two-time All-American at Cal, helping the Bears to the 1991 and 1992 NCAA titles.

DID YOU KNOW? Since its charter season in 1918, Cal has won a NCAA record 11 national titles, including twice winning three NCAA titles in-a-row (1973-75, 1990-92). The Bears have had 11 different players earn National Player of the Year honors, including current head coach Kirk Everist in 1988. From 1990-92, Cal amassed a record of 86-2 for a .977 winning percentage.