Bears Fall In NCAA Semifinal
LOS ANGELES - Making its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2017, the No. 2 California men's water polo team fell in the semifinal, 12-10, to No. 4 USC Saturday evening at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
In a match that saw the score tied seven times, the Bears had pulled ahead, 9-7, early in the fourth quarter before the Trojans surged back, scoring five goals in the final period to take the win.
"Our team did a tremendous job (this season) and I'm extremely proud of them for sticking together," senior team captain Nikos Delagrammatikas said. "Today, unfortunately, we came up a bit short, but we did everything in our power throughout this whole year to be ready to play these games."
Cal once again had an evenly distributed offensive attack as nine different players scored, the most in any match this season. Jack Deely led the team with three points (one goal, two assists), while Nikolaos Papanikolaou was the only Bear to score twice in the match. The MPSF Player of the Year also recorded two steals and two drawn exclusions.
Matues Stellet and Miles O'Brien-Schridde each finished with one goal and one assist in the contest. Goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg recorded eight saves (40 percent) and one steal.
For the Trojans, Jake Ehrhardt led the way with six points (four goals, two assists).
The Bears finish their delayed 2020 season with an 8-5 record. The team was the only in the MPSF to complete a weekend sweep this season, winning all three matches at the USC tournament in February. Cal also earned the top spot in the CWPA rankings for the first time since 2017, sitting at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks, Feb.17 - March 6.