College NCAA Water Polo (Men)

Cal and UCLA continue their winning streak, USC win MPSF derby against Stanford

Cal WP Men
Photo: Catharyn Hayne / KLC fotos

Round 2 of the men’s college water polo 2017 season is finished. Cal played at home for the first time, UCLA traveled to Princeton, while USC and Stanford faced each other in an MPSF derby.


Cal water polo squad is on a 6-0 winning streak as it won both games played last week at Spieker Aquatics Complex. On September 6, Bears overpowered UC Davis, 15:10, and on September 9 they triumphed over Pacific water polo team, 15:11.

In their first game at home this season, Cal hosted No. 9 UC Davis. Johnny Hooper netted an opener which was followed by Pedro Stellet’s goal. Bears were completely in control of the game and their advantage enlarged to three after Hooper’s successful penalty shot. They preserved the advantage until the end of the first quarter (5:2) and gradually increased it until the end. Cal went on a break with a four-goal lead (8:4) and even went ahead 12:6 in the third period. Thanks to keeping their defense on point, Cal defeated the Aggies and recorded their fifth consecutive victory. The game’s top scorer was Hooper with four goals, while Luca Cupido and Odysseas Masmanidis each netted three.

Cal 15:10 UC Davis
(5:2, 3:2, 4:2, 3:4)


Cal’s next opponent at Spieker Aquatics Complex was No. 5 Pacific. The Bears scored three unanswered goals in the first period, but the Tigers woke up in the second. Pacific water polo club was able to keep parity in the second and the third quarter, but Cal did not allow them to decrease the difference. The Tigers were down by one in the third period (8:9), but Cal responded with four goals in a row and eliminated all doubts about who would win the match. Cupido again excelled with four goals, as many as Luke Pavillard scored for Pacific.

Cal 15:11 Pacific
(3:0, 5:5, 3:3, 4:3)



On September 8, No. 2 USC and No. 3 Stanford faced each other at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans emerged as the winner of this MPSF derby as they held off Cardinal, 8:6.

USC water polo players never trailed, whereas Stanford was down by one on two occasions in the first half, but failed to equalize. Marko Vavic put the Trojans into the lead at the very beginning after which the game saw no goals for almost five minutes. Blake Edwards increased the lead to two and Cardinal managed to cut the deficit to one before the end of the first quarter (2:1). USC went ahead 4:2, but Stanford responded promptly with two goals in a row. However, USC went on a break with a 5:3 lead. The difference increased to three in the third period and Cardinal water polo players were unable to surmount it, they only brought it down to two in the final quarter. Vavic, Edwards, Matteo Morelli each scored a pair for USC, and Ben Hallock also netted two for Stanford.

USC 8:6 Stanford
(2:1, 3:2, 2:1, 1:2)


USC water polo squad last week also participated at Inland Empire Invitational in Redlands. The Trojans there recorded victories over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 20:1, and hosts Bulldogs, 16:5. USC proved too strong for both opponents and easily achieved their fifth consecutive win.

USC 20:1 C-M-S
(3:0, 7:0, 3:1, 7:0)


USC 16:5 Redlands
(5:0, 4:1, 6:2, 1:2)



UCLA Bruins remained undefeated and are on a 7-0 winning streak. After hosting UCLA Invitational last week, the Bruins traveled to Princeton where they played five games and came out as winners in each of them.

On September 8, UCLA defeated George Washington water polo club, 20:4, allowing its rival to score only one goal in each quarter. The Bruins were led by Max Irving who scored four goals, and Matt Farmer added three. In addition, St. Francis Brooklyn was overpowered, 12:3.

UCLA 20:4 George Washington
(5:1, 6:1, 6:1, 3:1)


UCLA 12:3 St. Francis Brooklyn
(3:0, 2:0, 3:1, 4:2)


The following day saw the Bruins roll past Bucknell, 18:8, and Brown, 18:2, with no trouble. In the match against Bucknell, crucial were the first and the last period when UCLA scored 12 goals, allowing its opponent to net only one. The top scorer Farmer was with four goals. Brown was left scoreless in the first half after which UCLA had a nine-goal lead and eventually recorded another convincing win. Nicolas Saveljic ended up being the game’s top scorer with four goals.

UCLA 18:8 Bucknell
(6:1, 3:3, 3:4, 6:0)


UCLA 18:2 Brown
(4:0, 5:0, 5:1, 4:1)


UCLA beat host Princeton, 14:8, on the last day of the Invitational. The Waves were able to keep parity in the first quarter which ended in a draw (2:2), but the Bruins stepped up their offense and scored five more goals before the halftime so they went on a break with a four-goal lead (7:3). UCLA went ahead 8:3 and 9:4 in the third period, but Princeton water polo team managed to decrease the deficit and was down by three before the last eight minutes of the game (9:6). However, the hosting team was helpless against the forceful Bruins who added five more goals in the last quarter and clinched another victory. Chasen Travisano led UCLA with four goals.

UCLA 14:8 Princeton
(2:2, 5:1, 2:3, 5:2)


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