No. 3 Bears Knock Off No. 1 UCLA
BERKELEY – In a tournament that should provide some clarity about the 2021 NCAA men's water polo season, No. 3 Cal is proving it is clearly one of the elite teams in the nation.
The Bears advanced to the championship game of the MPSF Invitational with a pair of victories Saturday, including a thrilling 10-9 victory over No. 1 UCLA at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Earlier in the day, Cal also knocked off No. 6 Long Beach State, 13-7.
In handing the Bruins their first loss of the season, the Bears improved to 13-0.
Cal freshman Max Casabella had three goals and an assist against UCLA while junior All-American Nikolaos Papanikolaou added two goals and seven drawn exclusions.
The Bears broke a 5-5 tie midway through the second quarter with a goal by Casabella and a pair from junior Warren Loth to lead 8-5 at halftime. Cal extended to a 10-6 lead with 4:56 to play before UCLA mounted a comeback. The Bruins final score came with 28 seconds remaining, and the Bears were able to run out the clock.
Senior Jack Deely had four goals and two assists in the win over the 49ers while freshman Roberto Valera had three goals and an assist. Goalie Adrian Weinberg registered 11 saves.
Cal will meet No. 2 USC in the championship game Sunday at 1 p.m.