Cal Bears end their nonconference schedule with 14:7 victory over Harvard
No. 4 Cal hosted No. 20 Harvard at Spieker Aquatics Complex in their last match on the nonconference agenda. The clash took place on March 11 and ended with victory Bears’ win, 14-7.
The Bears dominantly opened the first half, netting eight unanswered goals. Michelle Martinelli finally scored the first goal for Harvard only around two minutes before the halftime. Thanks to Cal’s brilliant defense and Madeline Trabucco, who made eight saves during the first half, Cal had a seven-goal advantage at the halftime (8-1). Even though the Bears took their foot off the gas in the second half, Harvard water polo players were unable to make a comeback.
Junior Dora Antal was the game’s top scorer with four goals. With 183 goals during her All-American career (39 of this season), she is now seven goals away from advancing to the fourth place on the all-time scoring list of the Bears.
Cal – Harvard 14-7 (0-4, 1-4, 3-3, 3-3)
UCLA Bruins beat CSU Bakersfield in MPSF home opener
No. 3 UCLA played their first MPSF game at home against No. 23 CSU Bakersfield and triumphed 17-5 to record their second MPSF win.
Kodi Hill netted the first goal giving UCLA a 1:0 lead. Fattal found the net two times and Musselman scored one goal to push Bruins’ lead to +4. Roadrunner Paz brought the deficit to three, but Grab rapidly brought back a four-goal advantage by the end of the first quarter (5-1). CSU Bakersfield went scoreless during the second period and UCLA went on a break with a 12-1 lead. Jada Helberg scored the second goal for the Roadrunners in the third quarter, after Bruins’ three consecutive goals. Aubrie Monahan then gave Bruins +14 before the last eight minutes of the game (16-2). This advantage was impossible for the Roadrunners to overcome.
The top scorer, Freshman Maddie Musselman, scored four goals, as many as in the Bruins’ MPSF opener last week. On March 4, UCLA crushed No. 10 San Jose State, 24-2, and Musselman achieved the sixth hat trick of the season to win her third MPSF Newcomer of the Week award.
Rachel Fattal hit a hat trick and came to be the fourth UCLA water polo player ever to reach 200 goals in her career.
UCLA vs. CSU Bakersfield 17-5 (5-1, 7-0, 4-1, 1-3)
Stanford wins three matches in Arizona
No. 2 Stanford began on Saturday its MPSF competition with a 9-3 win over No. 7 Arizona State in Tempe.
In their MPSF opener, the Cardinal prevented their rival from scoring during the first half and secured a 4-0 lead, after Olympians Maggie Steffens and Makenzie Fisher scored two goals each. In the third period, Jordan Raney increased Stanford’s lead to +5, which was hard to annul for Arizona State water polo players who netted only one goal before the last quarter of the game. Stanford had a six-goal lead (7-1) eight minutes before the end, and there was no doubt that the Cardinal would triumph over Arizona State (9-3).
During the weekend, Stanford water polo squad played two more games as a part of the ASU Invitational.
They triumphed over La Verne, 21:3, and No. 23 Marist, 19-1.
Kat Klass marked the face-off with La Verne with her 11th hat trick, while Mackenzie Wiley netted career-high four goals. The outcome was clear after twelve consecutive goals netted by Stanford water polo players.
The Cardinal proved too strong for Marist as well. Amanda Amorosa scored the only goal for the defeated Red Foxes.
Stanford – Arizona State 9-3 (4-0, 0-0, 3-1, 2-2)
Stanford – La Verne 21-3 (5-2, 8-0, 4-1, 4-0)
Stanford – Marist 19-1
USC Trojans chasing the record
This was a bye weekend for current No. 1, the USC Trojans, who on February 26 defeated Stanford, the team that opened the season as No.1 and remained in that position for seven weeks. In the title match at Kalbus Invite, the Cardinal suffered their only loss this season to the Trojans, 9-10, and dropped to the position No. 2.
The USC water polo players have played 19 games so far and are on a 46-0 winning streak, as they haven’t been defeated since the final game of 2015. The USC men’s record of 44 consecutive victories has been broken, and USC women tied the record of 46 wins (set by UCLA in 2007-2009) after beating No. 23 CSU Bakersfield last week, 14-3. USC women’s water polo team will try to make history in Honolulu against Indiana and Hawai’i on March 16-17.
No. 2 Stanford water polo players will play their next match against CSU Bakersfield on March 25.
No. 3 UCLA Bruins have played 14 games so far and only lost to USC at Kalbus Invitational. On March 18, in MPSF face-off, they will meet No. 4 Cal Bears who have now recorded 13 victories and 3 losses. Their most recent game, on February 26, saw the Bruins beat the Bears (12-11) to end up third at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational.