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No. 1 Bears Open Season With Dominant Victories

Sep 3, 2022
Sophomore Roberto Valera scored eight goals over two games on Saturday.

ANNAPOLIS, MD. – The No. 1 Cal men's water polo team opened its defense of its 2021 NCAA championship with a pair of resounding victories on the first day of the Navy Open on Saturday.

The Bears exploded for 56 goals during victories over Johns Hopkins and Iona, defeating the Blue Jays 33-4 before dispatching the Gaels, 23-7.

All-Americans Nikolaos Papanikolaou and Roberto Valera each scored eight total goals over the two games. Sophomore George Avakian netted five goals against Johns Hopkins and Marton Szatmary added a hat trick in his first collegiate game.

Freshman Nik Mirkovic added three goals against the Gaels.

Cal is back in the pool on Sunday to take on No. 11 Princeton and Navy.

No. 1 Cal 33, Johns Hopkins 4
JHU 1 0 1 2 - 4
Cal 10 7 8 8 – 33
Johns Hopkins Goals:
Gavin Brooke 2, Ian Raley, Cameron Burns.
Cal Goals: Nikolaos Papanikolaou 5, George Avakian 5, Brady Hoover 4, Roberto Valera 3, Marton Szatmary 3, Jake Stone 2, Wyatt Mundelius 2, Sam Untrecht 2, Garrett Dunn, Jake Howerton, Jordi Gascon, Warren Loth, Nik Mirkovic, Jack Deely, William Kelly.
Cal Saves: Xavier Casabella 6, Adrian Weinberg 2.
No. 1 Cal 23, Iona 7
IU 1 2 2 2 – 7
Cal 4 6 6 7 – 23
Iona Goals:
Lester Machado 2, Luksa Vlasic 2, Mohammed Refaat, William Harrington, Justin Ginsberg.
Cal Goals: Roberto Valera 5, Nikolaos Papanikolaou 3, Nik Mirkovic 3, Jake Howerton 2, William Kelly 2, Marko Valecic, Garrett Dunn, Marton Szatmary, Warren Loth, Wyatt Mundelius, Brady Hoover, Sam Untrecht, Jack Deely.
Cal Saves: Adrian Weinberg 7, Xavier Casabella 8.