Bears Best Trojans
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 1 California men's water polo team opened the weekend with a win, taking down No. 4 USC, 10-7, Saturday afternoon at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. With the victory, the Bears (6-2, 6-2 MPSF) extended their win steak to four and claimed the regular-season series against the Trojans, 3-1.
Cal took an early lead in the match, outscoring USC, 3-2, in the first quarter. USC (3-6, 2-6) scored three goals in the second quarter to head into halftime with a slight 5-4 advantage. The Bears then went on a scoring burst in the third quarter, when sophomore Nikolaos Papanikolaou scored three of his four goals back-to-back as Cal re-took the lead and did not relinquish it for the remainder of the match.
Papanikolaou's four goals led the Bears, and the native of Greece added four steals in the effort. Freshman Alika Naone also finished with a hat trick, scoring three and adding one steal. Jack Deely recorded two goals and an assist to finish the day with three points.
Goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg remains undefeated in the cage this season, improving his record to 6-0 with the win. The sophomore had 13 saves (65 percent) against the Trojans' offense.
USC's Jake Earhardt was the only Trojan to score multiple goals in the match, netting two.
The Bears continue their final weekend of regular-season play Sunday, taking on No. 2 UCLA at 10 a.m. before matching up against No. 3 Stanford in the Cardinal's home pool at 6:30 p.m. Fans can follow both matches via live stats as posted on the schedule, and the evening match will be streamed via a Stanford live stream. Fans can receive additional in-game updates and behind-the-scenes information all season long by following the Bears' social media accounts (Twitter: @CalWaterPolo, Instagram: @CalMWaterPolo).