STOCKTON – Ten different Golden Bears got in the scoring column, led by junior Olympian Aleksa Saponjic’s three goals, as Cal water polo dominated No. 8 UC Irvine, 16-8, Saturday (Nov. 30) in the consolation round of the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament in Stockton. The victory improves the Bears’ season record to 17-8 and Kirk Everist’s squad will next play Long Beach State, Sunday, Dec. 1 at 11:30 a.m., in the fifth-place match. Long Beach State, coached by former Cal All-American and Olympian Gavin Arroyo, defeated UC Santa Barbara, 11-10, in the other consolation match.
Besides Saponjic’s three goals, four other players had two goals apiece against UCI – seniors Collin Smith, Giacomo Cupido and Hunter Gettelfinger; and freshman Thomas Carroll. Senior goalie Michael Boggan and junior goalie Jon Sibley split time guarding the cage, with Boggan recording five saves in the first half and Sibley finishing with six saves in the final two quarters.
Saponjic had earned a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of the Serbian National Team, and was a second-team All-American in 2012.
Cal owned a 4-3 advantage over UC Irvine after the opening eight minutes on goals by Saponjic, Smith, junior Luka Ivanovic and sophomore Max Schell. The Bears then ran away with the contest in the second period by outscoring the Anteaters, 6-1, with six different Cal players recording goals. The Bears added four more goals in the third period for a 14-6 lead, before freshman Carroll provided Cal with its final two goals in the fourth period.
On Friday, the Bears’ senior captain Smith led the team with four goals, but Cal lost to No. 4-ranked USC, 12-9.
UC Irvine 3 1 2 2 – 8
California 4 6 4 2 – 16
Cal: Aleksa Saponjic 3, Collin Smith 2, Hunter Gettelfinger 2, Giacomo Cupido 2, Thomas Carroll 2, Thomas Agramonte, Colin Mulcahy, Max Schell, Farrel South, Luka Ivanovic.
Saves: Michael Boggan (Cal) 5, Jon Sibley (Cal) 6.