MPSF Water Polo Results, Sept. 6

Sept. 6, 2017

California 15, UC Davis 10

Recap by Cal:

BERKELEY - Playing at Spieker Aquatics Complex for the first time since winning the 2016 NCAA championship, the Cal men's water polo team got its 2017 home schedule off to a good start as four different players scored multiple goals and the No. 1-ranked Bears beat No. 9 UC Davis 15-10.

On the heels of a four-win trip to San Diego to begin the season, Cal (5-0) jumped out to an early lead against the Aggies on Wednesday. Johnny Hooper made his 2017 debut and wasted no time finding his scoring range, firing high and beating the UC Davis goalkeeper to make it 1-0 just over three minutes into the match.

Reigning MPSF Player of the Week Pedro Stellet skipped a shot home to push Cal's lead to 2-0 and Hooper converted a penalty shot to make it 3-0. Odysseas Masmanidis and Nicholas Carniglia added two more goals and by the end of the first period Cal owned a 5-2 lead.

Cal struck first in the second period as a big save by Spencer Tagg started Cal's transition attack and Conor Neumann converted to push the lead to 6-2. Neumann ricocheted a shot off the post and in, Hooper scored on the power play and the Bears took an 8-4 lead to halftime.

Senior Luca Cupido took over the scoring duties in the third period, finding the net three times with one coming on a penalty shot. Masmanidis also added another goal but perhaps the biggest moment of the quarter came from a UC Davis penalty shot as Tagg lunged to make a brilliant save, denying the Aggies much to the delight of the home crowd.

Cal added three more goals in the third with Spencer Farrar, Hooper and Masmanidis all contributing to the Bears' 15-goal output. Hooper ended the evening as Cal's scoring leader with four goals while Masmanidis and Cupido each had three. Tagg stopped 13 shots and went the distance in the cage for the Bears.

"Always just come strong with defense and counter attack. Just play our game," Stellet said of Wednesday's plan of attack. "It's (good) motivation being back in the place where our last game was the NCAA (championship). It's always great to be home and feel the atmosphere. I can feel the stands from last game, so it's great to win the home opener."

Wednesday's match was the first of four in a row at home for the Bears, who welcome Pacific to Spieker Aquatics Complex on Saturday at 11 a.m. for non-conference action. The No. 5 Tigers enter with a 4-0 record after going unbeaten at the Bruno Classic.