Saturday, April 12 1 p.m. PT - No. 4 Cal (17-5, 2-2 MPSF) at No. 6 Arizona State (13-8, 1-4 MPSF) Mona Plummer Aquatics Center - Tempe, Ariz.
BERKELEY – After its final week off of the season, the No. 4 Cal women’s water polo team begins its last push toward the postseason when it visits No. 6 Arizona State on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bears close out the regular season with a pair of road games - at ASU this week and at No. 1 Stanford on April 19 - before heading to the MPSF Championships at USC during the last weekend of April.
Freshmen Lead The Way Much of the Bears’ offensive production this season is coming from freshmen, as their top three scorers are all first-year players, and they each rank among the top-11 in the MPSF. Dora Antal paces the MPSF with a 3.21 goal average (61 overall) while Roser Tarrago is sixth in the conference at 2.19 goals per game. Anna Illes, who is second on the team in goals with 41, is 11th in the MPSF in goal average at 1.86. Illes has been Cal’s leader or co-leader in goals scored in each of the past five matches and six of the past seven. Overall, the trio has accounted for 47 percent of the Bears’ scoring this season, and 56 percent have come from the entire freshmen class.
Assaulting The Record Books This season is causing some serious revisions to the Cal record book. Freshman Dora Antal ranks third on the school’s freshman single-season scoring list with 61 goals, a mark that also is the 10th-best all-time overall. Anna Illes has 41 goals, which is tied for sixth on the freshman single-season list, Roser Tarrago’s 35 goals ranks eighth in that category. Antal and Tarrago each have two six-goal games this season, which is tied for third on Cal’s single-game scoring list. Meanwhile, senior Ashley Young has moved into the school’s top-10 list in career scoring, tying for 10th with 128 goals.
Cal vs. Arizona State The Bears are 18-5 all-time against the Sun Devils, but have dropped the past two against them. Both of those losses came last season, each time by one goal. Cal lost to ASU at the UC Irvine Invitational and in MPSF play.
About Arizona State The Sun Devils were ranked fifth in the country before falling at No. 8 San Jose State last week. Arizona St. is led in scoring by freshman Alkistis Benekou, who ranks fifth in the MPSF with 2.33 goals per game. Sophomore goalkeeper E.B. Keeve leads the conference with 12.28 saves per game.
Last Time Out The Bears split a pair of matches, falling to No. 2 UCLA 11-8 before coming back to defeat No. 7 Cal State Northridge, 15-10.
Bears Represent U.S. At World University Games The Bears spent 16 days in Kazan, Russia last summer representing the United States at the World University Games. Cal was picked by USA Water Polo to be Team USA’s entry into the event, marking the first time a singluar college team was sent to compete at the competition rather than a squad of all-stars. The team was made up of 13 of Cal’s players, who played six matches and a number of other scrimmages.