UC San Diego hosted the 2017 Fisher Cup which took place on May 20-21. Twelve water polo squads played 24 games in total. New York Athletic Club triumphed over Stanford Water Polo club to claim the championship.
GROUP STAGE AT 2017 FISHER CUP
The teams were divided into four groups. On May 20, each squad played against the two others from the same group. Water polo squads in the Group A were New York AC, Santa Barbara and Long Beach, while Group B members were Olympic Club, Stanford and UC San Diego. Group C consisted of Alumni WPC, Bruin and USA University, whereas Los Angeles AC, Golden Bear and USA Youth competed within Group D.
New York AC easily recorded two victories in Group A – over Long Beach (11-6) and Santa Barbara (16-7). Stanford was the best club in the Group B – defeating UC San Diego (17-5) and Olympic Club (7-5). USA University also collected two wins in Group C – against Alumni WPC (16-4) and Bruin (11-10). The most successful in the Group D was the Golden Bear water polo team which dominated over both its opponents – USA Youth (12-4) and Los Angeles AC (10-1).
On May 21, the teams that won the 1st position in their group played against each other in the semifinals.
NYAC came away with a narrow win over Golden Bear, 12-11, thanks to their amazing struggle. Although Vassilis Tzavaras scored the opener for Golden Bear’s lead, Alex Bowen netted an equaliser. Pedro Stellet and Luca Cupido gave their team another lead, but NYAC’s Farrel South decreased the difference to one (2-3). In the second quarter, Alex Obert tied the result, but Pedro Stellet’s two consecutive goals put GB back into the lead. Nic Carniglia increased the advantage to three. NYAC was again falling behind by one goal, but Golden Bear had +2 at halftime (5-7). NYAC did not give up and woke up in the second half. The result was tied (10-10) before the final period, in which NYAC water polo team was more successful and took the +2 lead. Johnny Hooper brought his team close to a tie, but NYAC advanced to the final match.
In the second semifinal, Stanford managed to overpower the USA University, 8-6. Cardinal achieved a three-goal lead before Hannes Daube scored the first one for the USA University. Nelson Perla-Ward brought back the three-goal lead (4-1). Stanford went on a break with plus four (7-3), and it was tough for the USA University to strike back in the second half. Cardinal achieved a five-goal advantage (8-3) in the third quarter and scored no more until the end of the match, but managed to save the lead (8-6). The deficit was insurmountable for the USA University water polo players who had to prepare for the 3rd place game.
The final game saw the clash between NYAC and Stanford. New York Athletic Club proved too strong for Cardinal allowing them to score only one goal in this match. NYAC netted four in the first quarter demonstrating their power and added one more until the halftime (5-0). Stanford water polo players had no solution for their opponent’s game which was on point. Cody Smith was the one who found the net for Stanford which was scoreless until the fourth period.
3RD PLACE GAME
After a narrow loss to NYAC in the semifinal game, Golden Bear water polo players were eyeing the consoling 3rd place and managed to triumph over the USA University, 10-4. They opened the match with three consecutive goals, but their rival brought down the deficit to one (3-2). Golden Bear stepped up their game and increased the lead to four by halftime (7-3). Their decisiveness resulted in two unanswered goals before the final eight minutes. USA University players could not overcome this difference and had to satisfy themselves with the 4th place.
5TH – 8TH PLACE
Water polo teams that were 2nd in their group competed for places 5-8. Olympic Club ended as 5th after defeating Bruin water polo squad (13-5) and Santa Barbara (9-7), which finished 6th. Bruin managed to beat Los Angeles AC (8-5) and take the 7th place.
9TH – 12TH PLACE
Winless teams clashed for positions 9-12. Long Beach defeated USA Youth (7-3), while UC San Diego lost to Alumni WPC (8-5), which finished 9th after its victory over Long Beach (8-5). The host UC San Diego won the match for 11th place against USA Youth, (7-6).
2017 Fisher Cup
1. (A1) NYAC 11-6 Long Beach (A3)
2. (B1) Olympic Club 15-4 UC San Diego (B3)
3. (A2) Santa Barbara 11-10 Long Beach (A3)
4. (B2) Stanford 17-5 UC San Diego (B3)
5. (A1) NYAC 16-7 Santa Barbara (A2)
6. (B1) Olympic Club 7-5 Stanford (B2)
7. (C1) Alumni WPC 4-16 USA University (C3)
8. (D1) Los Angeles AC 9-4 USA Youth (D3)
9. (C2) Bruin 10-11 USA University (C3)
10. (D2) Golden Bear 12-4 USA Youth (D3)
11. (C1) Alumni WPC 8-9 Bruin (C2)
12. (D1) Los Angeles AC 1-10 Golden Bear (D2)
13. (3RD A) Long Beach 7-3 USA Youth (3RD D)
14. (1st A) NYAC 12-11 Golden Bear (1ST D) [semifinal]
15. (1ST B) Stanford 8-6 USA University (1ST C) [semifinal]
16. (W13) Long Beach 5-8 Alumni WPC (W19)
17. (L14) Golden Bear 10-4 USA University (L15) [3RD place]
18. (W14) NYAC 12-1 Stanford (W15) [1ST place]
19. (3RD B) UC San Diego 11-14 Alumni WPC (3RD C)
20. (2ND A) Santa Barbara 8-7 Los Angeles AC (2ND D)
21. (2ND B) Olympic Club 13-5 Bruin (2ND C)
22. (L13) USA Youth 6-7 UC San Diego (L19)
23. (L20) Los Angeles AC 5-8 Bruin (L21) [7TH place]
24. (W20) Santa Barbara 7-9 Olympic Club (W21) [9TH place]
1st – New York Athletic Club
2nd – Stanford
3rd – Golden Bear
4th – USA University
5th – Olympic Club
6th – Santa Barbara
7th – Bruin
8th – Los Angeles AC
9th – Alumni WPC
10th – Long Beach
11th – UC San Diego
12th – USA Youth
Photo: Catharyn Hayne /KLC fotos