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NCAA.com | November 17, 2013

Water Polo Roundup

water polo, cal, UC irvine

BERKELEY, Calif. -- On its senior day, California produced a dominating performance, defeating No. 9 UC Irvine 17-4 on Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Complex in the final home match of the 2013 season. Kirk Everist’s squad was led by sophomore Colin Mulcahy’s four goals, while seniors Collin Smith, Hunter Gettelfinger and Giacomo Cupido tallied three goals apiece. Junior Aleksa Saponjic also had three goals and senior goalie Michael Boggan finished nine saves.

Another senior, Scott Siegel, joined the scoring list with a goal with 41 seconds left in the match as the Golden Bears improved to 16-6 overall and 4-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Cal will next play in the Big Splash at Stanford on Saturday at the Avery Aquatics Center.

The contest was close for the first period as the Bears owned a 2-1 lead on goals by Mulcahy and Saponjic. Then Cal turned on the pressure, outscoring the Anteaters 5-3 in the second quarter, and shutting out UC Irvine 10-0 in the second half.

"It was a very good team effort today," Everist said. "Our squad was ready and our defense was excellent. Michael Boggan had a great day in the cage as well."

No. 2 Southern California 10, No. 8 Long Beach State 8

LOS ANGELES -- USC found a third-quarter surge to break out of a tight first half against visiting No. 8 Long Beach State and pull off a 10-8 win in the Trojans' final home game of the year. USC improves to 23-3 overall and 5-2 in MPSF play with the victory.

Zach Lucas' hat trick on the day paired well with a two-goal outing from Kostas Genidounias, who now stands alone as USC's No. 5 all-time scorer. The Trojans had spread their first-half scoring among four different players as USC worked to fend off a feisty Long Beach State. The 49ers had pulled back even after Jon Walters and Nikola Vavic staked USC to an early 2-0 lead and had it locked up again at 3-3 in the first half before Connor Virjee pumped the Trojans up to a 4-3 lead by halftime.

The second half began quietly, with misfires and defensive stands on both ends until Genidounias broke the silence with a blast that built USC's lead back up to two. A 49er 6-on-5 crept the visitors within reach again at 5-4 with 2:21 to go in the third, but USC found a spark in Zach Lucas, who sizzled in a goal on a power play before slicing in a sidearm score for a 7-4 Trojans advantage on the way into the fourth period. The 49ers wouldn't go away in the final frame, coming up with scores two cut it back to two out of the gates and then answering a Jeremy Davie rocket from the post. USC goalie James Clark smothered a backhand attempt by Long Beach State to preserve that two-goal margin later, and the USC erupted with back-to-back goals -- first a ripper from Genidounias on a set-up from Vavic just before Ivan Kustic slung one in with 2:04 to go to carry USC to its largest lead, up 10-6 on the 49ers. Two final 6-on-5 opportunities for the visitors would wind up in Long Beach State scores, and that would wrap up the game as a 10-8 Trojan victory.

No. 3 UCLA 10, UC Santa Barbara 7

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA was forced to play a thorough game against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. UCSB staged a comeback and UCLA held them off in the fourth quarter to win the game 10-7.

UCLA's offense and defense was tight during the game. Paul Reynolds netted a hat trick for the Bruins. The game gave Reynolds his 40th goal as a Bruin.

Next up UCLA will face No. 2 Southern California, competition will be tough as usual in MPSF.

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