Nov. 6, 2007
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Sat., Nov. 10 USC, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, Calif. 1:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 11 UC Santa Cruz, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, Calif. 12 p.m.
BEAR BITES: The No. 1-ranked California men's water polo team (22-2, 6-0), winners of seven straight and sporting a 6-0 MPSF record, host No. 2-ranked USC (13-1, 4-1) in a re-match of last year's NCAA title match on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal, which defeated USC, 7-6, on Jeff Tyrrell's last-second shot in the 2006 national championship, has only suffered two losses this season. The Golden Bears fell, 9-8, to the Trojans on a five-meter penalty shot with five seconds left in the NorCal Open final at Spieker Aquatics Complex back on Sept. 16; and 10-9 in sudden death overtime to Bay Area rival Stanford in the semifinals of the SoCal Open on Oct. 14 in Irvine. The Bears won two tight matches last week, defeating No. 5 UC Irvine, 11-10 in overtime on senior Adam Haley's goal with 1:15 left in the second overtime period, and topping No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, 10-8, behind three goals apiece from senior Michael Sharf and sophomore Spencer Warden. Warden was named the Nov. 5 Co-MPSF Player of the Week after also adding six assists and five steals during the two matches. Cal has been paced offensively this season by Sharf, the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week, who is second in the conference with 3.35 goals per game. Sharf has led the Bears in scoring in 17 of 24 matches, recording 77 goals. Cal's other MPSF Player of the Week honoree has been senior JC transfer (Diablo Valley College) Vladislav Andreyev, who was the Oct. 8 recipient after exploding for 12 goals in matches against Harvard, Air Force and UC Davis. In the cage, Cal is led by senior All-American Mark Sheredy, who had 11 saves in the NorCal Open championship match versus USC and blocked a five-meter penalty shot in the semifinals against UCLA. Sheredy, who also notched 11 saves in the UCLA victory at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center Oct. 20, has 172 saves in 20 matches. As a team, the Bears are first in the MPSF with 12.83 goals per game, and are third in league by limiting opponents to 6.21 goals per game. The Bears will be hosting the 2007 MPSF Tournament (Nov. 23-25) at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
NOTING USC AND UC SANTA CRUZ: No. 2 USC (13-1, 4-1), coached by Jovan Vavic (13th year), last played Oct. 28 when it was upset by UCLA, 9-5, at the Sunset Pool to snap a 13-match winning streak. The Trojans are led by sophomore Shea Buckner, a transfer from Cal (played in 2005) who has 19 goals in 14 matches this season. In the only match-up between the two powerhouses this year, USC tipped Cal, 9-8, when Gabor Surusi capitalized on a five-meter penalty shot with five seconds left during the Sept. 16 finals of the NorCal Open. Last season, Cal defeated USC in both the finals of the MPSF Tournament (6-5) and the NCAA Championship (7-6), after falling to the Trojans in the finals of the NorCal (10-7) and SoCal Opens (6-5), and during an MPSF match (10-9) in Los Angeles. UC Santa Cruz, coached by Alan Cima (eighth year) and Danielle Mulford (second year), is 7-17 this season and were 16th at the 2007 NorCal Open.
CAL CAPTURES TWO TIGHT MPSF MATCHES: The Bears kept their perfect league record (6-0) intact with a thrilling 11-10 overtime victory over UC Irvine and a 10-8 win at UC Santa Barbara. In the victory over the Anteaters, Cal came back from a 5-1 second period deficit and sent the match into overtime on senior Mike Hayes' goal with two seconds left in regulation. Haley ended up winning the contest with a goal in the second overtime period, set up by sophomore Thomas Pearson's kick-out. Sharf led all scorers with five goals, including three goals in the second period comeback. At UCSB, the Bears outscored the Gauchos, 4-1, in the second period to help propel the win. Warden finished with four steals and three assists, senior Zac Monsees had three assists, and Sharf forced three UCSB ejections. Sheredy finished the weekend with eight saves against UC Irvine and seven saves against the Gauchos.
THE BEARS' ALL-AMERICAN LOOK: The Bears feature five returning All-America standouts from last season's national championship squad - seniors Sheredy, Sharf, Tyrrell and Haley, and sophomore Warden. Cal also showcases seniors Monsees and Hayes, who now have 84 and 54 career goals, respectively; and junior Frank Reynolds, a key contributor last season who notched a goal against USC in the NCAA title match. Sheredy, a first-team All-American and 2006 NCAA Tournament MVP, returns to man the goal, while Sharf, a 2006 honorable mention All-American, is Cal's top returning scorer with 48 goals last season (178 career goals). The Bears also return Tyrrell, a third-team All-American who knocked in the match-winning goal against USC in the national championship (41 goals in 2006, 102 career goals); Haley, a HM All-American and one of Cal's best two-meter defenders; and Warden, a talented driver and defender who was an HM All-American and the 2006 MPSF and Daily Californian Newcomer of the Year.
HEAD COACH Kirk Everist: A 2004 inductee into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, Kirk Everist is in his sixth year, owning a 134-38 mark (.779) after leading the Bears to a 31-4 mark and the program's 12th NCAA crown in 2006. Cal also won the MPSF title last season and Everist was named Division I Coach of the Year. In 2002, he was selected MPSF Coach of the Year after guiding his alma mater to the league tournament title and the Bears' first NCAA appearance since 1995 in his inaugural 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 sixth season, and Sean Nolan, a 2000 USA Olympian, who is in his third season. Nolan was a three-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 an NCAA-record 12 national titles including twice winning three NCAA crowns 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.
EXTRA BEAR NOTES: When Cal defeated UCLA, 8-7, Oct. 20 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, it was first time the Bears had defeated the Bruins at the Rose Bowl since Oct. 25, 1997 (9-8 in overtime)...Sharf scored the match-winning goal with 21 seconds left in the contest...On Oct. 14, Warden scored the match-winner against UCLA with 25 seconds left in an 8-7 win over the Bruins in the third-place match of the SoCal Open in Irvine...In 2006, Cal had 10 players selected to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America Team, which tied the 1974 squad for the most All-Americans in a single year...former Cal standout John Mann, was featured in the August 6 issue of Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd after winning the 2006 Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate water polo player...Mann is the first Bear to earn the prestigious award named after the former Cal coaching legend who won eight NCAA titles...Mann went on to help the USA National Team to a gold medal at this summer's PanAm Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, qualifying Team USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympics...highlights of the Bears' 2006 NCAA championship victory can be viewed on CalBears.com by going to the Cal men's water polo page.
INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES:
Vladislav Andreyev: Senior attacker has 28 goals in 20 matches, including goals against UCSB and USC during the NorCal Open, and goals against Long Beach State and Stanford at the SoCal Open...was named the Oct. 8 MPSF Co-Player of the Week, scoring 12 goals Oct. 5-6 versus Harvard, Air Force and UC Davis...has 16 assists, 17 steals, five ejections earned and six field blocks... was a 2006 Community College All-American at Diablo Valley College.
Trent Calder: Junior center and team captain has scored 25 goals in 21 matches and leads the squad with 12 field blocks...has 22 steals and 14 ejections earned...notched three goals against Pacific Sept. 27, scored a goal against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...has 55 career goals.
Brian Dudley: Redshirt freshman utility man has scored 12 goals in 23 matches, including goals against Air Force and UCLA in the NorCal Open, and a goal versus UCLA in the SoCal Open...is third on the team with 16 ejections earned, and has 16 steals and five assists...hails from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Adam Haley: Senior center back and team captain leads the Bears with 34 steals and has 18 assists, eight ejections earned and seven field blocks...scored the match-winner with 1:15 left in the second overtime period versus UC Irvine Nov. 2...tallied four goals during the NorCal Open, including two goals in the final match versus USC.
Mike Hayes: Senior attacker is fourth on the team with 25 assists, and owns 22 steals, six ejections earned and five field blocks...scored a goal with two seconds left in regulation in Cal's 11-10 overtime victory over UC Irvine Nov. 2...has 10 goals in 24 matches this season, and owns 54 career goals.
Zac Monsees: Senior attacker has 24 goals in 24 matches, including seven goals during the NorCal Open...had a team-high four goals in the NorCal Open semifinal victory over No. 3 UCLA...leads the team with 39 assists and has 24 steals, nine field blocks and nine ejections earned...owns 84 career goals.
Frank Reynolds: Junior attacker has 26 assists, 16 goals in 24 matches, 14 steals, seven ejections earned and a field block...scored five goals at the SoCal Open...tallied a goal against USC in the 2006 National Championship match.
Michael Sharf: Senior attacker leads the Bears with 77 goals in 23 matches and is second in the MPSF with 3.35 goals per game...was the Sept. 4 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with 18 goals in four matches at the Navy Open...tallied six goals at the SoCal Open, including a four goals versus Stanford...scored the winning goal with 21 seconds left in Cal's 8-7 victory over UCLA Oct. 20...has led the Bears in scoring in 17 of 24 matches...has 25 ejections earned, 24 assists, 26 steals and five field blocks...owns 178 career goals.
Mark Sheredy: Senior goalie and team captain has 172 saves in 20 matches (8.60 saves per game)...had a season-high 12 blocks Sept. 8 at Pacific, and recorded 11 saves in the NorCal Open final against USC...has blocked three five-meter penalty shots, including a penalty shot against UCLA in the NorCal Open semifinal...recorded 40 saves in the four NorCal Open matches...has tallied 370 saves in 45 career matches (8.22 saves per match).
Jeff Tyrrell: Senior utility man is second on the team with 41 goals in 24 matches (1.71 goals per game, 11th in the MPSF)...scored five goals with a team-high six assists and four steals versus Pacific Sept. 27...led Cal with four goals against Air Force Sept. 15, and scored six goals in the four NorCal Open matches...had a team-high four goals versus UCLA in the SoCal Open third-place match...has 31 assists, 24 steals, 15 ejections earned and four field blocks...has recorded 102 career goals.
Spencer Warden: Sophomore attacker was Nov. 5 MPSF Co-Player of the Week with three goals, six assists and five steals versus UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara...scored the winning goal versus UCLA with 25 seconds left in the SoCal Open third-place match Oct. 14...had six goals, five steals, three ejections earned and two field blocks at the SoCal Open...is second on the team with 33 steals and has 22 goals in only 17 matches...also has 15 assists, 11 ejections earned and seven field blocks.