11 saves in the loss
to UCLA, bringing his
season save total to 50.
No. 6 Bears Hosts Top-Ranked Stanford, No. 5 Pacific
Water Polo coming off tough home opener against No. 3 UCLA.
Sept. 27, 1999
Sat., Oct. 2 Stanford, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, CA Noon
Sun., Oct. 3 Pacific, Spieker Aquatics Complex, Berkeley, CA Noon
LAST WEEK: The sixth-ranked Bears (3-3 overall, 0-0 MPSF) fell to No. 3 UCLA, 11-9, in their home opener at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal had a 3-1 lead going into the second quarter of the non-conference game, but saw its lead diminished by two two-point goals that left the Bears trailing 6-5 at the half. Cal battled back and tied the game 8-8 with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter, but the Bruins struck before the intermission and outscored the Bears 2-1 in the pivotal fourth to take the match.
BEAR NOTABLES: A week after garnering All-Tournament Second-Team honors, junior Jerry Smith led the Bears with four goals, including one two-point goal to bring his season point total to seventeen. Goalie Kevin Ahasey had 11 saves in the loss to bring his save tally to 50 for the season.
TWO-POINTERS KILL CAL: The Bears actually scored as many goals (eight) as the Bruins in last Saturday's matchup. What made the difference were two-point goals (shots from outside seven meters). UCLA converted three two-pointers (two from Matt Armato and one from Adam Wright) to Cal's one.
MPSF SHAPING UP CLOSE: UCLA's win over top-ranked Stanford last weekend marked the end of an undefeated campaign for any MPSF team, and thus eliminated the appearance of a conference front-runner. The Cardinal was the last team to sport an undefeated record, having handed then-undefeated UCLA and USC their first losses of the season in the SoCal Tournament.
STANFORD NOTES: The top-ranked Cardinal (7-1, 1-1 MPSF) suffered its first loss of the season to the Bruins last Saturday, 6-5, before defeating No. 4 UC Irvine, 8-5, on Sunday. Stanford won the SoCal Tournament, Sept. 19, defeating then top-ranked USC, 11-10 in OT. The Cardinal is led by seniors Brian Heifferon, a first team All-American last season, and Sean Joy, who led Stanford with three goals against the Anteaters on Saturday. In the cage for the Cardinal this season is freshman goalkeeper Nick Ellis, who garnered MPSF Player of the Week honors following his fist-team all-tournament performance in the SoCal Tourney. Joining Ellis on the podium were teammates Heifferon, Andy Walburger (both first team) and Mark Amott (second team). The Bears were 0-2 against their cross-bay rivals last season, losing 6-5 on Oct. 3 and 11-6 on Nov. 21.
PACIFIC NOTES: Having lost to Pacific in the SoCal Tournament, 7-5, on a last-second two-point goal, the Bears will look to avenge themselves when the fifth-ranked Tigers travel to Berkeley this weekend. Pacifc defeated UC Irvine, 7-3, and UC Davis, 18-10, last weekend to improve to 7-2 overall, 1-0 MPSF. Junior Chris Lund leads Pacific with 11 goals. Cal won all three contests against the Tigers last season, including an 8-7 sudden death victory on Oct. 25 in Stockton.
THE COACHES: Peter Asch (3-3, .500) begins his first season as Cal's head coach, replacing Steve Heaston, who passed away in the off-season after a long battle with brain cancer. Asch was a three-time All-American player for Cal from 1967-69, serving as team captain in '68 and '69. Last season, Asch served as head coach of the women's water polo team, a position he will continue to hold, leading the women to a 28-7 overall record and an MPSF title. Assistant coach Doug Arth enters his 11th season with the Bears. A four year-letterwinner as a player for Pete Cutino in the early seventies, Arth was the 1972 AAU Outdoor National Player of the Year and a two-time All-American (1973 and '74).