Nov. 25, 2011
Los Angeles, Calif. - Led by senior standout Ivan Rackov's five goals and nine saves from junior goalie Justin Parsons, the No. 3 Men's Cal Water Polo team opened the 2011 MPSF Tournament with a 15-9 victory over UC Irvine Friday (Nov. 25) at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center.
The No. 2-seeded Golden Bears improve to 21-3 and will now play host and No. 3-seeded UCLA at 3 p.m. Saturday in the semifinal. The Bruins had defeated Pepperdine, 5-4 in overtime in another first round match. Cal has two victories over UCLA this season, 8-4 Oct. 2 during the SoCal Invitational, and 8-5 Oct. 7 in an MPSF match in Westwood. The Bears fell to UCLA, 6-5, Sept. 18 at the NorCal Tournament in Stockton.
"It was a good way to start the weekend," said Cal coach Kirk Everist. "We had to play a lot of five-man defense today (because of kickouts), but the guys did a good job with that. We are looking forward to competing in the semifinals."
Cal overcame an early 1-0 deficit, taking the lead for good at the 4:41 mark in the first quarter on a 6-on-5 goal from redshirt freshman Blake Kelly. The Bears outscored UC Irvine by a 5-2 margin in the opening quarter.
UC Irvine (15-12) was led by two goals each from Jacob Mourer, Max Parrague and Brian Pickford.
Cal led at halftime, 6-4, and opened the third quarter with consecutive goals from Rackov at 7:37 and 6:32 to claim an 8-4 cushion. UC Irvine responded by reducing its deficit to 8-6 at the 4:44 mark in the third quarter before the Bears pulled ahead for good.
Cal closed the third quarter with three more goals and led, 11-7, heading into the final period.
The Bears outscored the Anteaters, 4-1, in the fourth quarter. California's 15-9 lead marked its largest of the match. Leading 12-9 with 6:18 left in the contest, Cal scored the contest's final three goals.
CALIFORNIA 15, UC IRVINE 9
UC Irvine 2 2 3 1 9
California 5 1 5 4 15
UC Irvine Goals: Jacob Mourer 2, Max Parrague 2, Brian Pickford 2, Trent Baxter, Alan Robertson, Mitch Wise
UC Irvine Saves: Jimmy Friedrich 5
California Saves: Justin Parsons 9