MPSF Water Polo Results, Oct. 4

Oct. 4, 2017

California 21, Santa Clara 9

Recap by Cal

BERKELEY - A big second period helped the Cal men's water polo team put some distance between itself and visiting Santa Clara on the scoreboard and the No. 3-ranked Bears were able keep building from there as they pulled away for a 21-9 victory over the Broncos in a non-conference contest at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Cal (13-1) got the offense rolling right away Wednesday as Odysseas Masmanidis opened the scoring 19 seconds into the game, Johnny Hooper added the next two goals and the Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Connor Reid added two more goals before the end of the period and Cal took a 5-3 lead after eight minutes of action.

The Bears made their biggest mark on the scoreboard over the next eight minutes thanks not only to an increase in production at the offensive end but also a highly effective effort on defense. Luca Cupido found the net three times and six other players added a goal apiece to help Cal outscore Santa Clara (4-7) 9-1 in the second period. A backhand goal by Cupido just before halftime put Cal up 14-4 as the teams broke for intermission.

After building a big lead in the first half, Cal turned to its bench in the second half to ride out the rest of the game. Rotating in nearly the entire roster, the Bears scored five times in the third and twice in the fourth to finish off the win. Hooper finished the day with an impressive individual stat line, collecting three goals, four assists, two steals and a field block. Cupido, Reid and Spencer Farrar also finished with a hat trick while Safak Simsek added two goals. Pedro Stellet, Vassilis Tzavaras, Mikey Williams, Cameron Wright, Ryan Hurst, Conor Neumann and Masmanidis all contributed with one goal apiece.

Reigning MPSF Player of the Week Kevin Le Vine got the start in the cage for the Bears and made four saves while adding two steals and two assists. Spencer Tagg got the call in the second half and also made four saves.

"It's a little bit different for us, a school-day game right in the middle of the day, so I was really kind of focused on what kind of energy we came out with and what kind of focus we had," Cal head coach Kirk Everist said. "I thought for the most part we had a good energy in our offense that first half for sure with 14 goals. We were efficient, we were taking care of the ball and finishing shots, not trying to make things too complicated. Sharing the ball was good in the first half, for sure, and that allowed us to get a lot of younger guys some minutes and some experience."

Cal now has a chance to focus more on practice than game action as the Bears enter a 10-day period without a match. UC Irvine pays a visit to Spieker Aquatics Complex on Oct. 14 and San Jose state visits on Oct. 15 with both matches set to begin at 1 p.m. Cal will honor its 1977 NCAA championship team during the UC Irvine match and the annual alumni game will take place after the Bears and Anteaters conclude.