Nov. 1, 2008
BERKELEY - The No. 4-ranked Cal men's water polo team (14-5, 1-2) utilized a balanced offensive attack with 10 different players scoring on the way to an 11-8 MPSF victory over No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (12-8, 1-2) Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Golden Bears, who captured their first MPSF league match of the year, were led by two goals by redshirt freshman Charlie Steffens and outstanding goalie play from sophomore Jacob McIntosh, who finished with nine saves, including blocking a Gaucho five-meter penalty shot in the fourth period.
UCSB's Jessie Tootell opened the day's scoring with a goal at 5:26 in the first period, but Cal came back to tie the match with a goal by freshman Ivan Rackov with 3:48 in the opening quarter for a 1-1 tie. From there, the Bears rattled off the next three goals to begin the second period on scores by freshman Cory Nasoff, junior Mike Sample and sophomore Zach White for a 4-1 advantage. Milos Golic and Miles Price scored goals for the Gauchos to get UCSB within 4-3 with 2:31 left in the first half.
But Cal separated itself with a 5-0 run, beginning with senior captain Frank Reynolds' goal with 1:59 left in the first half. Consecutive scores by junior All-American Spencer Warden, Steffens, sophomore Brian Dudley and freshman Luka Saponjic to open the third quarter gave the Bears a commanding 9-3 lead. UCSB finished the third period scoring on two five-meter penalty shots from Milos Golic.
The Gauchos did muster goals by Brian Bishop and Price to open the fourth period to make the score, 9-7, but again Cal separated itself on Steffen's second goal of the contest and a nice counterattack goal by senior captain Trent Calder. Finally, Golic earned his fourth goal of the match with 48 seconds left in the contest for the final, 11-8, score. McIntosh had a big fourth period for the Bears manning the goal, notching four blocks, including blocking a Golic five-meter penalty shot.
Defensively, Dudley paced Cal with four steals and Calder had two field blocks. White had a team-high four ejections earned, while Dudley and Rackov each notched three ejections earned.
The Bears will next travel to No. 1-ranked USC on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Bears-Trojans contest will be a rematch of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA title matches, in which Cal won 7-6 in '06 and 8-6 in '07. Earlier this year, the Bears dropped a 12-7 decision to USC in the semifinals of the SoCal Open in Malibu.
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