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No. 1 Bears Fall In Overtime At MPSF Championships

Nov 20, 2021
MPSF Newcomer of the Year Roberto Valera had three goals and three steals on Saturday.

STANFORD – Freshmen Roberto Valera and Max Casabella each scored three goals but the No. 1 Cal men's water polo team fell 12-11 to No. 4 Stanford on Saturday in the semifinals of the MPSF Championships at Avery Aquatic Center.

Casabella added three assists for the Bears (20-3) while Valera, the 2021 MPSF Newcomer of the Year, contributed three steals.

Cal will face USC in the Third Place Game on Sunday.

The Cardinal got off to a hot start with goals on each of its first two possessions but the Bears came back to tie it at 4-4 at halftime. Consecutive goals by Valera and MPSF Player of the Year Nikolaos Papanikolaou pushed Cal's lead to 7-5 with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter, but Stanford answered immediately with back-to-back goals of it s own. The Bears led 10-9 before the Cardinal tied it up again with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Each team scored a goal in the first overtime, with Casabella tying it up with 22 seconds left. But Stanford got the only goal of the second extra session to pull out the victory.

Papanikolaou finished with two goals while senior Jack Deely had four assists.