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No. 1 Bears Split Matches At MPSF Invitational

Sep 24, 2022

STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 1 California men's water polo team won its Saturday morning matchup against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 16-6, before falling to No. 3 Stanford, 12-11, in the semifinal game of the 2022 MPSF Invite on Saturday afternoon at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.

The morning game got off to a slower start before the Bears scored three goals in under two minutes to close out the first quarter with a 5-2 lead. Holding the Gauchos scoreless in the second quarter allowed Cal to widen its margin, heading into the break leading 8-2. 

Sophomore attacker Max Casabella and freshman attacker Nik Mirkovic led the offensive effort in the morning contest, finishing the game with three goals each. Mirkovic also added one steal to his first hat trick of the season.

The second game of the day was a back-and-forth affair for most of the contest, as the first three quarters ended in a tie. Stanford took the lead for good with 90 seconds to play.

In the semifinal, sophomore attacker Roberto Valera led the Bears with four goals and added one block. Valera is tied for third in the MPSF with 27 goals on the season.

Junior goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg combined for 23 saves in the two contests. 

The Bears will play USC for third place on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Avery Aquatic Center.

No. 1 California 16, No. 8 UC Santa Barbara 6
UCSB 2 0 3 1
Cal 5 3 6 2

UCSB Goals: Tommy Hawkins 2, Dash McFarland, Colton Gregory, Sam Nangle, Brock Zamanian
Cal Goals: Max Casabella 3, Nik Mirkovic 3, Nikolaos Papanikolaou 2, Jordi Gascon 2, Jack Deely 2, Marko Valecic, Jake Howerton, Marton Szatmary, Wyatt Mundelius
UCSB Saves: Levi Lentin 4
Cal Saves: Adrian Weinberg 9, Xavier Casabella 1

No. 3 Stanford 12, No. 1 California 11
Stan 4 3 3 2
Cal 4 3 3 1
Stan Goals: Jackson Painter 4, Quinn Woodhead 2, Soren  Jensen 2, Ethan Parrish, Riley Pittman, Andrew Churukian, Larsen Weigle
Cal Goals: Roberto Valera 4, Max Casabella 2, Nikolaos Papanikolaou, Albert Ponferrada, Jake Howerton, Marton Szatmary, Jack Deely
Stan Saves: Nolan Krutonog 10
Cal Saves: Adrian Weinberg 14