BERKELEY – In a battle between two of the top teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, No. 3-ranked Pacific tipped No. 4 Cal, 7-6, Saturday (Oct. 5) in a televised Pac-12 Networks match at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears (8-3, 0-1) were led by junior Olympian Aleksa Saponjic’s two goals, including a score with 6:37 in the third period that gave Cal a 6-4 advantage.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the Tigers’ (10-1, 2-0) Balazs Erdelyi brought his team back with two goals towards the end of the third period (at 3:47 and 1:11) to tie the score, 6-6. Then Goran Tomasevic notched what proved to be the game-winner at 6:07 left in the match to give Pacific the 7-6 victory.
Tomasevic had provided the Tigers with their first two goals of the day, giving Pacific a 1-0 lead after the first period and then scoring with 6:14 left in the second period. At that point, Cal mounted its comeback, outscoring Pacific, 5-3, in the second period on goals by Luka Ivanovic, Colin Mulcahy, Blake Kelly, Hunter Gettelfinger and Saponjic to own a 5-4 at the half.
Both team’s goalies were outstanding, with Pacific’s Alex Malkis recording 15 saves and Cal’s Michael Boggan finishing with 14 saves.
"Today was about what we expected, two good teams battling until the end," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "Pacific is talented and well-coached. We had our shots today. I liked how we played defensively and we generated offense, but we were not very efficient. Too many scoring opportunities were missed today to beat a team like Pacific."
The Bears will next travel to the SoCal Invitational, Oct. 12-13, in Irvine to face the nation’s top teams. Cal opens the tournament facing UC San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 12:15 p.m. at Anteater Pool.
Pacific 1 - 3 - 2 - 1 --- 7
California 0 - 5 - 1 - 0 --- 6
Pacific Goals: Goran Tomasevic 3, Balazs Erdelyi 3, Casey Fleming
Cal Goals: Aleksa Saponjic 2, Luka Ivanovic, Colin Mulcahy, Blake Kelly, Hunter Gettelfinger
Pacific Saves: Alex Malkis 15
Cal Saves: Michael Boggan 14