STOCKTON: The Golden Bears got a stellar performance from senior captain Collin Smith with four goals, but the Cal men’s water polo team fell to No. 4-ranked USC, 12-9, Friday (Nov. 29) in a first round match of the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. With the loss, the Golden Bears drop to 16-8 overall and will next play UC Irvine at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the second round. The Anteaters had fallen to host Pacific, 15-7, in another first round MPSF Tournament contest.
Cal started the contest strong, outscoring the five-time defending national champion Trojans (24-4), 3-1, in the first period on goals from Smith, senior Hunter Gettelfinger and junior Olympian Aleksa Saponjic. Both teams tallied four goals in a high scoring second quarter with Smith adding two more goals, and junior Luka Ivanovic and freshman Farrel South also scoring for Kirk Everist’s squad to give the Bears a 7-5 halftime advantage.
The matches’ momentum turned into USC’s advantage in the second half when the Trojans outscored Cal, 4-1, in the third period behind and, 3-1, in the fourth quarter. Smith had the Bears’ lone score in the third period at 2:33 left in the quarter that tied the contest, 8-8. USC scored the next two goals to jump ahead, 10-8, until sophomore Colin Mulcahy got Cal within one, 10-9, with 4:29 remaining. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Trojans’ Kostas Genidounias and Rex Butler tallied the matches’ next two goals for the final 12-9 margin.
Cal senior goalie Michael Boggan recorded 10 saves for the match, including four saves in the second period.
The Bears will be facing UC Irvine for the third time this season, topping the Anteaters, 13-9, Oct. 13 at the SoCal Invitational at Irvine, and most recently defeating UCI, 17-4, in an MPSF league match Nov. 17 in Berkeley.
California 3 4 1 1 – 9
USC 1 4 4 3 – 12
Cal: Collin Smith 4, Aleksa Saponjic, Colin Mulcahy, Hunter Gettelfinger, Farrel South, Luka Ivanovic.
Saves: Michael Boggan (Cal) 10.