Oct. 17, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA – The No. 2-ranked California men’s water polo team scored the first five goals of the match and never looked back, upsetting No. 1 ranked USC, 12-9, Saturday (Oct. 16) morning at McDonald’s Swim Stadium in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears, who for the second time in the last two weeks have upset teams ranked higher in the national polls, were led by junior Ivan Rackov’s three goals and received two goals apiece from senior Zach White and juniors Charlie Steffens and Zach Greenwood. Sophomore goalie Justin Parsons registered 10 saves.
Cal improves to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Trojans dip to 15-2 and 1-2 in conference play.
Last Saturday, the Bears, then ranked No. 4, defeated No. 2-ranked UCLA, 11-8, at Spieker Aquatics Complex. This Saturday’s win in Los Angeles avenged Cal’s earlier loss to the Trojans. The Bears had fallen to USC, 12-11, Sept. 19 during the NorCal Invitational at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The Trojans are the two-time defending national champions, capturing the NCAA crown in 2008 and 2009. Prior to that, Cal had defeated USC in both the 2006 (7-6) and 2007 (8-6) national title matches.
Besides the goals from Rackov, White, Steffens and Greenwood, senior Brian Dudley, junior Luka Saponjic and freshman Collin Smith also notched scores for the Bears. Rackov leads Cal and tops the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 39 goals in 13 matches, averaging 3.0 goals per game. Parsons has been stellar guarding the goal, tallying 13 saves versus UCLA and now 10 saves versus USC.
“We really came out strong today,” said Cal coach Kirk Everist. “It’s a good win for us as we continue to improve as a team. USC really came back strong in the second half as you would expect from a great team, but we were able to hold them off.”