No. 4 Bears Host No. 2 Stanford In Big Splash
NO. 2 STANFORD (6-4, 4-4 MPSF) AT NO. 4 CAL (9-4, 4-4 MPSF)
SPIEKER AQUATICS COMPLEX | BERKELEY, CALIF.
SATURDAY, APRIL 17 | 1 P.M. PT | LIVE STATS | LIVE VIDEO
SUNDAY, APRIL 18 | 1 P.M. PT | LIVE STATS
They are always big games when Cal and Stanford get together, but this weekend's contests between the No. 4 Bears and No. 2 Cardinal have bigger implications than just rivalry bragging rights. Both teams sit at 4-4 in MPSF play and are both ranked in the top-4 nationally. The results of these games could have a major effect on the conference and national race. Cal enters the weekend having won four in a row and on a defensive roll, limiting opponents to just 4.75 goals per game during that span. The weekend marks the beginning of a four-game home stretch to end the regular season for the Bears.
DEFENSE DOES IT
Goals have been hard to come by for Cal opponents in recent games, as the Bears have smothered opposing offenses with an elite brand of defense. Cal defeated San Jose State 11-2 last Sunday, and that was the lowest goal total the Bears have allowed in an MPSF game since March 5, 2004, when they beat Arizona State 10-2. Cal held the Spartans scoreless in the second half. The previous weekend against Arizona State, the Bears held the Sun Devils without a goal for the first three quarters in a 5-3 victory. Cal is averaging 10.7 steals per game while senior Brigit Mulder and freshman Mallory Reynoso each rank in the MPSF top-10 in field blocks.
MOVING ON UP
In addition to putting together a terrific senior season, Cal goalie Cassidy Ball is climbing the list of the program's all-time saves leaders. Now with 77 saves this season, Ball has 267 in her career and has moved into eighth place on Cal's career list. Stephanie Peckham is the program's all-time leader with 816.
THE KIDS CAN PLAY
Cal's eight-member freshmen class has become an integral part of the team's success. Reagan Whitney and Mallory Reynoso each won MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors earlier this season, and Whitney is tied for second on the Bears with 18 goals. Reynoso is tied for 10th in the MPSF with 1.3 steals per game and Maryn Dempsey has 12 goals, eight assists and nine steals. Demspey also notched a hat trick in her collegiate debut at Fresno State - the first Cal freshman to record at least three goals in her debut since Cal all-time leading scorer Dora Antal in 2014.
LORENZ VOTED INTO USA WATER POLO HALL OF FAME
Former Cal two-time All-American and Olympic medalist Ericka Lorenz has been selected as part of the 2021 class of the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame. Lorenz won the silver medal as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2000 then followed up with a bronze in 2004. As a freshman at Cal in 2001, she was tabbed a First Team All-American after leading the squad with 44 goals.
OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION UPDATE
Former Cal four-time All-American Anna "Nusi" Illes took center stage last month, helping Hungary win the Olympic Qualification Tournament. Illes scored nine goals during the tournament, aiding Hungary to nab an automatic berth to the Olympics when it qualified for the championship match. In the finals, Hungary defeated The Netherlands, which also earned a bid to the Summer Games. Senior Kitty Lynn Joustra was scheduled to compete for The Netherlands at the tournament but suffered an injury shortly before the event and was unable to play. Cal alum Dora Antal, a fellow four-time All-American and the Bears' all-time leading scorer, was an alternate for Hungary.
TRIO OF BEARS LEAD CANADA TO OLYMPICS
Senior-to-be Emma Wright and alums Kindred Paul and Kelly McKee helped Team Canada qualify for the Olympics by advancing to the championship match of the 2019 Pan American Games. Wright, a three-time All-American who ranks ninth on the program's all-time scoring list with 154 career goals, took the 2020 season off to train with the Canadian National Team and is doing the same this season since the Olympics were suspended for a year. Paul and McKee were both All-Americans at Cal.
ABOUT NO. 2 STANFORD
• SR Kat Klass leads the MPSF with 2.8 goals per game
• Goalie Emalia Eichelberger leads the MPSF with 9.0 saves per game
• Cardinal has lost three in a row
• CAL ALL-TIME VS. STANFORD: 22-59