STANFORD – In a tight battle versus its Bay Area rival, the Cal men’s water polo team dropped an 11-10 decision to No. 3-ranked Stanford Saturday (Nov. 17) during the annual Big Splash at the Avery Aquatic Center. With the loss, the Golden Bears fall to 16-7 overall and 4-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Cardinal improved to 19-4 and 7-1 in league play.
Cal was led by three goals from junior Aleksa Saponjic, while senior captain Collin Smith scored a pair of fourth period goals – a shot with 5:45 left in the match to get the Bears within, 10-9, and a final score with two seconds left for the final, 11-10, margin. Senior goalie Michael Boggan recorded 10 saves.
Cal had jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first period on goals by Saponjic, Cupido and Hamilton, but was outscored 9-4 in the next two quarters, including getting shutout, 4-0, in the third period, The Bears kept on battling, outscoring the Cardinal, 3-2, in the final period behind Smith’s two goals and a score by Saponjic.
The two squads will next enter the 2013 MPSF Tournament, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Stockton. Cal will face five-time defending national champion USC on Friday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. in the tournament opening round.
California 3 4 0 3 – 10
Stanford 0 5 4 2 – 11
Cal: Aleksa Saponjic 3, Collin Smith 2, Giacomo Cupido 2, Colin Mulcahy, Hunter Gettelfinger, Mitchell Hamilton.
Saves: Michael Boggan (Cal) 5, Jon Sibley (Cal) 4.