Bears Unleash 36 Goals For Pair of Wins

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The No. 1 Cal men's water polo team sailed straight past No. 5 Irvine with an 11-0 run before going to No. 10 Pepperdine's home pool the next day.

The Bears (15-2, 4-0 in the MPSF) dropped 18 goals on both the Anteaters on Saturday at Anteater Pool and on the Waves on

Sunday at Raleigh Runnels Pool. The two teams only put up nine and seven goals, respectively.

Cal's 11 unanswered goals against UC Irvine (14-5, 3-2), a respectable number of goals for any team over the course of a whole game, took the Bears only a little over one period. The run spanned from midway through the second quarter until 3:29 left in the third.

Cal's dominating performance is all the more triumphant considering its mission to redeem itself against the Anteaters. UC Irvine pulled off a 9-8 upset win against the Bears on Oct. 2 in the second round of the SoCal Invitational at UCLA.

Since the surprise, Cal has not lost, extending its winning streak to seven games with the weekend's second match against Pepperdine (9-12, 1-5).

Junior Ivan Rackov and Senior Zach White went wild with their offense this weekend, each logging eight goals. Rackov skipped in six goals against the Anteaters and two against the Waves while White whipped in four in each game. Their offensive production combined accounts for almost half of the Bears' goals this weekend.

Worries about Cal's execution on offense stemming from missed opportunities last week are put to rest.

Inflated scores such as this weekend's are aberrations in the water polo world.

"We focused on our transition attack this week and had a lot of opportunities today which

we finished," Cal associate head coach Boyd Lachance told Calbears.com. "We also limited

(Irvine's) Brandon Johnson and Griffin Lerman to a combined shooting of 3-for-9 and matched

up well defensively all game."

Additionally, Cal reintegrated a couple missing pieces to the puzzle.

Junior Cory Nasoff returned to action after being out last week against Pacific.

Junior goalie Wil Toppen also restored the front line for the Bears after being out for a few weeks due to injury. Sophomore goalie Justin Parsons did an excellent job in Toppen's absence and was instrumental in several of the Bears' matches in the winning streak.

Against Pepperdine, Cal sped out of the gates early, stretching open a 6-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The lopsided leads in both games gave the younger Bear players playing time. Freshmen Max Bergeson

and Giacomo Cupido had three and one goals, respectively, in the Pepperdine match. Freshmen Perry Short, Jack Stampfl, Zach Greenwood, and Bergeson all had one goal apiece against Irvine as well.

Tags: CAL MEN'S WATER POLO, KIRK EVERIST, LUKA SAPONJIC, IVAN RACKOV


Byron Atashian covers men's water polo. Contact him at [email protected]



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