College NCAA Water Polo (Men)

Men’s College Water Polo 2017 Season Kicks Off

Cal Men
Photo: twitter.com/CalWaterPolo

On September 2-3, men’s college water polo teams played their first matches of the 2017 season.
The Bruins hosted the UCLA Invitational in which USC also took part. Cal Bears were in San Diego where Triton Invitational was organized, and Stanford participated at Bruno Classic hosted by Brown.

BRUINS AND TROJANS SHINE AT UCLA INVITE

No. 4 UCLA on September 2 hosted the UCLA Invitational at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins accomplished convincing victories over Pomona-Pitzer (16:5) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (19:2).

Mark Hallman scored the first goal of the match giving No. 18 Pomona-Pitzer their first and only lead. Then Luke Henriksson netted an opener for UCLA, after which four more Bruins scored (5:1). UCLA went on a break with an eight-goal advantage (10:2) and Eric Goldenberg increased his team’s lead to nine at the start of the second half. Then Sagehens stepped up their game, managed to surmount UCLA’s defense and score two goals in a row. However, the Bruins then went ahead 15:4 eliminating all doubts about who would win the game. Freshman Quinten Osborne recorded a hat trick and emerged as the game’s top scorer.

UCLA 16:5 Pomona-Pitzer
(5:1, 5:1, 5:2, 1:1)

Nicolas Saveljic was another freshman who emerged as UCLA’s top scorer against C-M-S. The Bruins took the first lead after Saveljic’s goal, but Stags quickly equalized. UCLA then responded with six consecutive goals and finished the first quarter with a 7:1 lead. They continued to increase it in the next period and went ahead 9:1 when C-M-S stopped their scoring run for a moment, but the Bruins continued to control the game and had 14:2 at halftime. They left the Stags scoreless in the second half and added five more goals to confirm the triumph.

UCLA 19:2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
(7:1, 7:1, 1:0, 4:0)

No. 2 USC water polo team also overpowered C-M-S (27:3) as it completely dominated the first half scoring unanswered 17 goals. They continued to increase the advantage in the second half, allowing the Stags to net three goals in total. The Trojans were led by Sam Slobodien and Grant Stein who scored four goals, while Blake and Lachlan Edwards each added three.

USC 27:3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
(7:0, 10:0, 5:1, 5:2)

USC water polo players crushed P-P without difficulty as well (24:3). It was not until the final seconds of the first quarter that Dylan Elliot scored the first goal for the Sagehens, while the Trojans previously netted six (6:1). USC added seven more before the halftime (13:1), and then again scored seven unanswered goals in the third quarter (20:1). The P-P squad was helpless and added only a pair in the final period. Trojans Thomas Dunstan and James Walters each recorded a hat trick.

USC 24:3 Pomona-Pitzer
(6:1, 7:0, 7:0, 4:2)

CAL IMPECCABLE AT TRITON INVITE

The first weekend of the new season saw No. 1 Cal Bears travel to San Diego where a two-day Triton Invitational took place.

On September 2, Cal water polo squad proved too strong for Loyola Marymount (16:1), which was scoreless in the first half, while the Bears powerfully achieved a nine-goal lead before the break and the winner became obvious. Alessio Brunochelli was the only one of the Lions who managed to score, but Cal definitely dominated the entire match and finished it with no trouble. Spencer Farrar and Cameron Wright each netted four goals, while Luca Cupido scored three.

Cal 16:1 Loyola Marymount
(3:0, 6:0, 2:1, 5:0)

Cal’s later face-off with UC San Diego was more exciting, but the Bears eventually prevailed over their rival (12:7). Hosts took the first lead thanks to Cooper Milton who scored two goals in less than three minutes, while the Bears were struggling at the beginning. Two minutes before the end of the first quarter, Nicholas Carniglia cut the deficit to one, and Luca Cupido equalized in the final seconds of that period. Spencer Farrar brought the Bears their first lead, and Odysseas Masmanidis and Vassilis Tzavaras raised Cal’s advantage to three before the break (5:2). UCSD managed to decrease the difference in the third period and was even down by one at one point, but strong Cal entered the final period with a two-goal lead (7:5). The Bears then went ahead 11:5 in the last quarter and it made it impossible for their rival to come back.

Cal 12:7 UC San Diego
(2:2, 3:0, 2:3, 5:2)

On September 3, the Bears triumphed over Long Beach State (14:7) due to their impeccable performance in the first and the last period of the game. Cal water polo team did a great job achieving a three-goal advantage during the first eight minutes and managed to keep the lead even though Long Beach State kept parity in the second and the third quarter. However, the Bears completely repressed their rival in the last quarter and scored three unanswered goals to clinch the third consecutive win.

Cal 14:7 Long Beach State
(5:2, 3:2, 3:3, 3:0)

The most suspenseful was Cal’s clash with No. 6 UC Santa Barbara which ended with Bears’ narrow 8:7 win. Although the Bears went on a break with a three-goal lead (4:1), the Gauchos did not surrender and stroke back in the second half but failed to equalize.

Cal 8:7 UC Santa Barbara
(1:0, 3:1, 3:4, 1:2)

STANFORD UNSTOPPABLE AT BRUNO CLASSIC

On September 2, Cardinal triumphed over Harvard (21:5) and MIT (24:1). Stanford left Harvard scoreless in the first half and went on a break with 13:0 lead, leaving no doubt about who would win the match. The second half saw Harvard water polo players wake up led by Nick Bunn and Dennis Blyashov who each netted a pair. However, Cardinal’s victory was very convincing. Brilliant freshman Ben Hallock and junior Blake Parish each recorded a hat trick.

Stanford 21:5 Harvard
(5:0, 8:0, 4:2, 4:3)

Cardinal quickly achieved 13:0 against MIT as well, after only 13 minutes of play, and had 15:1 at halftime. MIT was unable to score during the second half, while Stanford increased their lead after adding nine goals. Hallock and Sam Pfeil netted four, while sophomore Bennett Williams scored three goals. On the other side, Myles Stapleburg was MIT’s only scorer.

Stanford 24:1 MIT
(8:0, 7:1, 6:0, 3:0)

Stanford water polo players had an easy job against St. Francis Brooklyn (21:5) a day later. After Jackson Kimbell netted an opener for Cardinal, Botond Kadar tied the result. Then Stanford scored five goals in a row and preserved that advantage until the end of the first quarter (7:2). In the second quarter, Bogdan Kostic brought down the deficit to five (8:3), but his team was unable to resist Stanford’s powerful game which resulted in a seven-goal advantage at halftime (11:4). St. Francis added only one more in the last minute of the third period when Vukasin Petrovic scored, and Stanford finished the match in a routine manner. Cardinal was led by Blake Parrish who netted five goals, and Bennett Williams who added four.

Stanford 21:5 St. Francis Brooklyn
(7:2, 4:2, 4:0, 6:1)

Host Brown had no solution for Cardinal’s game and was completely powerless. Stanford sunk its rival and ended this weekend with a forceful 19:0 triumph. Kimbell, Parrish and Cody Smith each scored three goals leading their team toward the fourth win in a row.

Stanford 19:0 Brown
(9:0, 6:0, 3:0, 1:0)

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