Tuesday, December 5, 2023

No. 1 Bears’ Win Streak Snapped

LOS ANGELES – The No. 1 California men’s water polo team was defeated by No. 2 UCLA 12-10 in the MPSF Invitational first-place game on Sunday, falling for the first time in more than 10 months.

Entering the day on a 15-game winning streak, the Golden Bears (12-1) battled back to erase a four-goal deficit in the third quarter, tying it 9-9 on a nice backhand goal by the senior. Nikolaos Papanikolaou. It was the two-time Cutino Award winner’s 235th career goal, moving him into a tie with Ivan Rackov for No. 3 all time at Cal.

The Bruins (13-0) answered with goals on their final two possessions of the third. The Bears got a late power play goal from Marci Szatmary but was unable to close the gap in the final frame.

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Max Casabella led Cal with four goals, heating up the third period by scoring three times in a span of 86 seconds. Goal keeper Adrian Weinberg finished with eight saves, two steals and one assist.

After Cal’s defense stopped one time on the Bruins 7-on-6, Weinberg ended the opening half with a spectacular buzzer-beater to send the Bears into halftime trailing 7-5. The long-of-the-pool shot was the first of Weinberg’s career at Cal.

The Bears are off next week before returning to action for their home opener on Oct. 7 at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in a rematch with UCLA.

No. 2 UCLA 12, No. 1 California 10
Cal 2 3 4 1 – 10
UCLA 3 4 4 1 – 12
Cal Goals: Max Casabella 4, Adrian WeinbergNkolaos Papanikolaou, Albert Ponferrada, Marci Szatmary, Nik Mirkovic, Jake Stone
UCLA Goals: Rafael Real Vergara 4, Jack Larsen 3, Hayden Nightingale 2, Marcell Szécsi, Ben Larsen, Noah Rowe
Cal Savings: Adrian Weinberg 8
UCLA Saves: Garrett Griggs 8

Nation World News Desk
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