MPSF Water Polo Results, Oct. 21

Safak Simsek, Cal (Photo by Catharyn Hayne)
Oct. 21, 2017

California 12, UCLA 9 (MPSF)

Recap by Cal

LOS ANGELES -- A big effort on the road helped the No. 3-ranked Cal men's water polo team avenge its lone loss of the season to date as junior Odysseas Masmanidis recorded a hat trick and the Bears led nearly the entire way to beat No. 2 UCLA 12-9 at Spieker Aquatics Center.

Having dropped an overtime contest to the Bruins in late September, Cal (16-1, 1-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) got a chance to turn the tables Saturday in Westwood as both teams opened MPSF play. Freshman Nikos Delagrammatikas got the Bears started with the game's opening goal and Johnny Hooper backed that up with a goal of his own to give Cal a 2-0 lead right out of the gate.

A power play goal by Safak Simsek with one second left in the first quarter left the Bears and Bruins tied at 3 after a period but Cal took a one-goal lead to halftime as two goals from Masmanidis and one each from Luca Cupido and Conor Neumann made it 7-6 at the midway point.

Cal really made its move over the next eight minutes and, as has often been the case throughout the 2017 season, defense led the way. The Bears held the Bruins to just one goal in the third period and, with goals coming from Neumann, Cupido and Spencer Farrar on the other end, that defensive intensity allowed Cal to head to the fourth with a 10-7 advantage.

The Bears only needed two more goals to clinch the victory and both came by way of their Greek connection as Delagrammatikas skipped one in on a near side shot and Masmanidis added goal No. 3 on the day to finish the scoring.

Yet another standout performance in the cage from senior Kevin Le Vine went a long way in Cal's big victory as the Bears' keeper made 11 saves in the win. Cal also recorded seven field blocks, led by two from Cupido, and added six steals in a great defensive performance.

Cal returns to action on Sunday at noon when they make the trip south from Westwood to take on Long Beach State. Live updates will be available through the Cal Water Polo Twitter account (@CalWaterPolo). The Bears return to Spieker Aquatics Complex on Nov. 4 to host USC in the final home match of the 2017 season. Start time has yet to be announced.

USC 13, UC Irvine 8

Recap by USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 1 USC men's water polo team shrugged off an opening goal by No. 6 UC Irvine and manufactured a five-goal scoring surge to take control of today's nonconference clash at Uytengsu Aquatics Center, finishing off the day with a 13-8 win over the visiting Anteaters. The win bumps USC to 19-1 overall on the year.

After USC's first attempt off the bar was deemed to be saved before floating fully into the cage, UC Irvine's answering shot also would wind up bobbing into goal territory and was whistled as a goal for the Anteaters. The 1-0 lead for the visitors was short-lived, however, as tireless work from Lachlan Edwards at two-meters got USC up on a power play that saw Matteo Morelli hit Blake Edwards for a ripper that locked it up 1-1 just over a minute later. That would spark a rally for the Trojans, who had goalie McQuin Baron squash a UCI power play before Thomas Dunstan earned and finished off a 6-on-5 series for USC to get the Trojans into the lead to stay. Zach D'Sa made it 3-1 before the close of the first period with an incredible extra effort from underwater. To start the second, Marko Vavic rifled in a blast from distance to make it 4-1, then issued a booming field block to send USC back the other way again. The freshman would find Matteo Morelli soon after for a slick off-speed score, and USC was up 5-1 on the Anteaters. UCI would manage two goals before halftime, but USC had two of their own on tap, as D'Sa continued his antics with a nifty lob before Mihajlo Milicevic rocketed in a score off the bar, and USC held a 7-3 advantage at halftime.

Thomas Dunstan was the man of the hour to start the second half, nabbing a steal and then faking and firing in his second goal to net an 8-3 lead for the Trojans. UC Irvine managed back-to-back goals next, but Vavic had back-to-back blasts of his own at the ready. Vavic took a feed from Dunstan to sizzle in a 6-on-5 finish for a 9-5 USC lead, then capped off a USC counterattack with his third goal of the day thanks to a setup from Matteo Morelli and Dunstan. That had USC up 10-5 entering the fourth period. Captain James Walters hammered home his first of the day to kick off the final frame, with Morelli finding Sam Slobodien for a counterattack jam to boost USC ahead 12-5 with 3:12 to go. Will Rubshlager would take over the cage for Baron from there, while freshman Christian Hockenbury joined the scoresheet with a searing skipper that answered a UC Irvine 6-on-5 strike, making it 13-6 with 1:35 left. The Anteaters managed two final goals before the final buzzer, wrapping the game as a 13-8 USC victory.

The Trojans are done with action for the weekend and will set up for two games coming up next week. USC visits Concordia on Friday (Oct. 27) at 1:30 p.m. before returning home for Senior Day at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans will honor their 13-man senior class in a pregame ceremony before facing San José State at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 28).

Stanford 9, Pepperdine 3

Recap by Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. - Hat tricks from freshmen Ben Hallock and Sawyer Rhodes key No. 4 Stanford men's water polo to its sixth consecutive victory, a 9-3 win over No. 7 Pepperdine Saturday afternoon at Avery Aquatic Center.

The Cardinal (12-3) erased an early one-goal deficit with a pair of scores from Hallock in the first three minutes of the contest. The second goal came courtesy of a nice feed from senior Jackson Kimbell, who delivered it to Hallock in front of the cage to put the Cardinal up 2-1.

Stanford never looked back from there, as Kimbell and Rhodes gave the Cardinal a three-goal cushion with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

After a flurry of six total goals and a 4-2 Stanford advantage in the first quarter, the Cardinal and Waves (14-10) scored just one goal each over the second and third periods.

Stanford put the game away in the fourth, with Rhodes producing a pair of scores and Hallock and senior Cody Smith adding single goals to give the Cardinal the 9-3 victory.

Senior Drew Holland posted another strong performance in the cage, registering nine saves. Pepperdine goalie Zackery Rhodes finished with 12 stops.

Hallock continued his streak of scoring at least one goal in every game his season. With Saturday's total, he has produced eight hat tricks over the season's 15 matches.

Stanford closes its busy weekend slate on Sunday, traveling to Santa Clara to face No. 12 St. Francis Brooklyn at 11:40 a.m. PT as part of the Julian Fraser Memorial Tournament.

La Salle 8, Penn State Behrend 7

Penn State Behrend 10, Washington & Jefferson 6

Recap by PSB

NEW LONDON, Ct. - The Penn State Behrend men's water polo team split in two games in Connecticut on Saturday. They fell 8-7 to La Salle and defeated Washington & Jefferson 10-6. Andrew Sardaryzadeh (Murrieta, CA/Elsinore) led the way for the Lions (5-11) against Iona, tallying three goals and two drawn kickouts. Grant Garcia (Kingsburg, CA/Kingsburg) added two goals and three steals in the contest. Matt Olimski (San Diego, CA/Otay Ranch) recorded 17 saves in the tough loss. Behrend started the game on a strong start after Isaak Hatopp (Saline, MI/Saline) and Troy Valkusky (Drifton, PA/Hazleton) notched a goal each to give the Lions a 2-0 in the first. The Explorers were able to cut the lead in half after scoring a goal with nine seconds remaining in the quarter. Sardaryzadeh found his first goal of the game 26 seconds into the second quarter to push the lead back to two in favor of Behrend. La Salle was able to find the back of the net a couple times throughout the second though, evening the score at 3-all going into halftime. After a couple goals were exchanged early in the third quarter, Garcia was able to break the tie and score a goal to give the Lions a 6-5 lead going into the final quarter. In the opening 1:49 of the fourth quarter, the Explorers scored two goals to give them a 7-6 edge over Behrend. Sardaryzadeh, relentless on evening the score, tallied his third goal of the game for the Lions. As the game was coming to an end, La Salle's last second efforts to score a goal paid off, finding the back of the net with 14 seconds left in the match to end the game 8-7. Later this afternoon, Behrend took on Washington & Jefferson for the second time this season. After an evenly fought match through the majority of the game, the Lions went on a 6-2 run in the second half to help secure a 10-6 victory. Olimski was able to add another game with double-digit saves to his record, collecting another 17. Kyle Frerichs (Sellersville, PA/Pennridge) tallied three steals, two goals, and two assists while Garcia also added three steals, a goal, and an assist in the win. After a back and forth first half of scoring, both the Lions and the Presidents were looking to break the 4-4 game. In the third quarter, four different players scored goals for Behrend to help them go on a 4-1 run through the quarter. Bruce Bursiek (Houston, TX/Cy-Fair High School) contributed to the Lions win by adding two assists and a steal. Once the Lions started scoring, they never turned back. Both Valkusky and Frerichs were able to find their second goals on the contest in the fourth quarter, closing the quarter on a 2-1 run and ending the score at 10-6 in favor of Behrend. The Lions continue their efforts in Connecticut when they face off against Connecticut College for the second time this season. Game time is set for noon.