On January 27-28, Cal water polo team played their first games at home as they hosted the Cal Cup, in which Stanford also took part and was very successful as well. UCLA dominated Michigan Invitational, while USC recorded two wins at CBU Mini Invitational.
Cal and Stanford win three each at Cal Cup
Apart from Cal and Stanford, participants of the Cal Cup were also San Jose State, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and Fresno State. Bears and Cardinal recorded three victories and continued their winning streaks.
On Day 1 of the Cal Cup, hosts stormed past UC Davis, 15:6. They dominated the first and the third quarter and eliminated all doubts regarding the winner already after 24 minutes of play. Bears were led by brilliant Dora Antal who scored 6 goals, and Emma Wright added three. Even though UCD took the first lead thanks to Carla Tocchini, Cal stroke back and went ahead 3:1. They continued with excellent play and achieved a three-goal lead after eight minutes (2:5). UCD managed to bring down the deficit to one in the second quarter (5:6), but Cal put in three more before the break (5:9). Hosts continued with impeccable performance in the next quarter when they scored four unanswered goals (5:13). It was late for UCD to fight back and they suffered a tough loss.
UCD 6:15 CAL
(2:5, 3:4, 0:4, 1:2)
A day later, Cal survived an exciting encounter with UC Irvine. In spite of Bears going ahead 4:1, UC Irvine stroke back, outscored the Bears in the second period and took over the lead before halftime (5:4). Hosts managed to prevail in the next quarter and got back into the lead. They had a three-goal advantage (6:9) before the last eight minutes and resisted UCI’s attacks until the end. Anteaters were even down by one in the last period (8:9), but Carla Carrega sealed her team’s triumph (8:10). The game’s top scorers were excellent Dora Antal and UCI’s Tara Prentice with 4 goals.
UCI 8:10 CAL
(1:3, 4:1, 1:3, 2:3)
Bears got off to a better start against Fresno State water polo team which was an easy job for the hosts. Antal shined again and scored 5 goals. Before the Cal Cup, she was 16 goals away from becoming the Cal’s top-scorer. As she managed to score 15 in three games and tied the record, she will have a chance to break it next weekend already when the Bears will take part in Stanford Invitational.
FSU 6:19 CAL
(2:6, 0:5, 1:4, 3:4)
Stanford crushed UC Irvine water polo players on Saturday, leaving them scoreless in the second half. Cardinal completely outscored the opponent in the first half when Anteaters managed to net only one goal in each of the first two periods. Stanford was leading 9:2 at halftime, and took their foot off the gas later, but kept their defense on point. Makenzie Fischer ended up being the top scorer as she netted five goals, which she previously did on two occasions during her career.
UCI 2:12 STANFORD
(1:4, 1:5, 0:2, 0:1)
On Day 2 of the Cal Cup, Cardinal recorded two more convincing triumphs over Fresno State (22:5) and San Jose State (15:4). They started the match against Fresno State with six goals in a row and continuously increased the difference. The third quarter was the most intense as it saw Cardinal score eight unanswered goals. Four Stanford water polo players – Kayla Constandse, Hannah Shabb, Mackenzie Wiley and Sarah Klass – recorded a hat trick.
FRESNO STATE 5:22 STANFORD
(0:6, 3:4, 0:8, 2:4)
Stanford’s victory over SJS was their fourth in a row this season. Aria Fischer scored four, and Madison Berggren added three to help their squad win with no trouble. Cardinal will next weekend host the Stanford Invite.
SJS 4:15 STANFORD
(1:4, 1:4, 2:3, 0:4)
Powerful USC excels at CBU Mini Invite
USC ladies played two perfect games in Riverside on January 27. They netted 41 goals, while leaving one of their rivals scoreless, and allowing the other one to score only three. Paige Hauschild and Elise Stein each scored four goals and led their squad to an amazing 20:0 win against Cal Baptist.
USC 20:0 CAL BAPTIST
(6:0, 3:0, 7:0, 4:0)
Pomona-Pitzer was also an easy job for USC water polo players who achieved a 14:0 win before halftime, after which they took their foot off the gas. Trojans increased their lead to fifteen before Pomona-Pitzer managed to find the net for the first time, but entered the final period with a sixteen-goal advantage (17:1) and finished the game in a routine manner. Trojans will next weekend travel to San Diego to play at Triton Invitational.
CAL 21:3 POMONA-PITZER
(9:0, 5:0, 3:1, 4:2)
UCLA continues winning streak
Bruins took part in the Michigan Invitational where they overpowered four opponents and are now on a 9:0 streak. They opened Day 1 with a nice 18:8 victory over Marist. After a powerful start in the first quarter during which Bruins netted five unanswered goals, Red Foxes finally woke up. They brought down the deficit to three, but UCLA scored three consecutive goals and went ahead 8:3. Marist water polo players decreased the difference to four before halftime, but it was too much for them to surmount (8:4). Red Foxes kept parity for around two minutes, but they were only able to bring down the deficit to three again, on two occasions. Then UCLA stepped up their game and went ahead 13:6 before the last eight minutes of the game. Marist had no solution for UCLA and had no chance of making a comeback. Bruin Emily Skelly netted six goals, which is the most in her career so far.
UCLA 18:8 MARIST
(5:0, 3:4, 5:2, 5:2)
Later that day, UCLA defeated the hosts as well (9:5). Wolverines were a serious opponent, but the Bruins kept in control from the very beginning preventing Michigan from taking over the lead. Maddie Musselman scored the opener and Alexis Liebowitz increased UCLA’s lead. Then Maddy Steere cut the deficit, but the Bruins added two more cautious to prevent any surprises. They had a nice two-goal lead after the first quarter (4:2), and again appropriately reacted when Wolverines came down by one. Louise Hazell and Musselman each added one to help UCLA demonstrate their determinacy, so Bruins went on a break with a three-goal lead (6:3). Each time Michigan decreased the difference, UCLA water polo players reacted quickly and never lost control. The final result was set in the third quarter, and the final period saw no goals, but Bruin Carlee Kapana recorded three important saves.
UCLA 9:5 MICHIGAN
(4:2, 2:1, 3:2, 0:0)
On Sunday, Bruins were struggling during the first four minutes against Wagner. They took the lead immediately thanks to Musselman, and Kimberly Watson netted an equalizer in the middle of the first quarter. Then UCLA finally prevailed and Alexis Angermund brought her team back into the lead, while Hazell increased the advantage (3:1). Even though UCLA went ahead 6:1 in the second period, Wagner stepped up and brought down the deficit to three before halftime (7:4). Crucial was the third quarter when UCLA netted four leaving the rivals scoreless and determined the winner (11:4). They even had 13:4, but Wagner was able to decrease the difference.
UCLA 14:7 WAGNER
(3:1, 4:3, 4:0, 3:3)
UCLA played another interesting game later that day. They outscored Pacific even though the first quarter saw an equal duel. UCLA took the first lead after two minutes of play when Kelsey Blacker found the net. However, Kyra Christmas responded immediately and tied the result. Skelly put her squad back into the lead in the middle of the first period, but Pacific proved they can keep parity. UCLA water polo players stepped up their game and went ahead 4:1 in the second quarter. Pacific seemed crushed and they went on a break with a four-goal deficit (2:6). Bruins made everything clear in the third period when they added four more, while Pacific was unable to find the net (2:10). The eight-goal difference was the proof of UCLA’s superiority, in spite of the fact that they failed to score in the last quarter.
PACIFIC 4:10 UCLA
(1:2, 1:4, 0:4, 2:0)