Oct. 16, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -The No. 2-ranked Cal men's water polo team (12-4, 1-1) topped No. 4-ranked UCLA (12-5, 0-2), 7-6, in a key MPSF league match before a packed house at Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears, who were able to withstand a Bruin comeback, were paced by sophomore Ivan Rackov's three goals and two goals by senior captain Spencer Warden. Sophomore goalie Wil Toppen also had a solid match with nine saves.
California jumped to a 2-0 lead through the match's first four minutes, as Rackov scored at the 5:52 and 4:54 marks in the first quarter. UCLA sliced the Bears' cushion in half with a strike from senior Cole Consani at 3:47.
Playing under the lights before a standing-room only crowd (attendance 869), the Bruins tied the contest by halftime on a goal from Hohl with 1:34 to play in the second quarter.
Cal twice assumed a three-goal advantage in the third quarter - at 2:41 (5-2) and at 1:36 (6-3). The Bears took advantage of goals from sophomore Charlie Steffens (7:13), Rackov (5:21) and sophomore Luka Saponjic (2:41) to open a 5-2 lead. After Davidson converted for the Bruins on a 6-on-5 opportunity (2:14), Warden scored the first of his two goals with 96 seconds remaining in the third period.
Hohl's second goal came with 16 seconds to go in the quarter, trimming the Bears' lead to 6-4.
Cal held off a late UCLA rally in the final frame. Warden scored on a penalty shot with 7:28 to play in the match, pushing the Bears' margin to 7-4.
UCLA answered with an extra-man goal from freshman Griffin White with 3:34 remaining. Davidson scored his second goal of the evening as a power play came to an end with 26 seconds to go in the contest, cutting the Bruins' deficit to 7-6. UCLA was unable to regain possession before the final buzzer sounded.
The Bears will next host No. 16-ranked Santa Clara on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 12 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Comples. Earlier Cal had defeated the Broncos, 14-9, Sept. 19 in the first round of the NorCal Invitational at Stanford.