Sept. 4, 2010
BERKELEY -Paced by two goals apiece from juniors Luka Saponjic, Ivan Rackov and Jack Stampfl, the No. 1-ranked Cal men's water polo team won its season opener, 14-4, over visiting UC Davis. The Golden Bears had yielded a goal to the No. 17-ranked Aggies' Cory Lyle on a five-meter penalty shot with 6:58 in the first period, but then rattled off four straight goals on scores by Saponjic, senior Zach White, Rackov and Stampfl to end the first period with a 4-1 lead.
Cal outscored UC Davis, 7-1, over the next two quarters and tallied the first two goals of the fourth period on the way to the 14-4 win. Eleven different players scored for the Bears, as senior Brian Dudley, junior Cory Nasoff, junior Zach Greenwood and sophomore Marin Balarin also notched goals. Junior college transfer Matt Golden and freshmen Giacomo Cupide and Perry Short scored their first career goals for Cal as well.
Besides being one of the Bears' top goal scorers, Rackov paced Cal with six steals and three assists.
"I thought this was a good first match for us," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "We got an opportunity to play a lot of people and I thought we had excellent defense. To hold them to only two goals in the first half, and then two goals later in the fourth period, was a good defensive effort on our part."
The top-ranked Bears will next host No. 13 Santa Clara on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 12 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal will then have the following weekend off before hosting against some of the top teams in the nation during the NorCal Invitational, Sept. 18-19, at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
Cal 14, UC Davis 4 UC Davis 1 1 0 2 - 4 Cal 4 5 2 3 - 14