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No. 1 Bears Defeat No. 5 USC

Sep 25, 2022

STANFORD - The No. 1 California men's water polo team held off No. 5 USC in a tight contest to secure third place at the 2022 MPSF Invitational on Sunday afternoon at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.

In the first meeting between the two teams since Cal defeated the Trojans in the NCAA championship game last December, the Bears got out to an early lead with a run of three goals in the final two minutes of the first quarter, while holding USC scoreless in the period. The Trojans followed with an offensive burst of their own in the second quarter, and the Bears ended the half with a narrow 7-6 lead.

USC went on to take the lead in the third quarter, but the California defense held the Trojans scoreless once again in the final eight minutes and scored two goals to take the win.

Sophomore attacker Roberto Valera finished with three goals and an assist for his third hat trick in four games this weekend. Junior center Nikolaos Papanikolaou had two goals and drew five Trojan exclusions.

Junior goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg had a season-high 17 saves in the win against USC, which has the second-highest scoring offense in the nation (behind Cal). 

Next up, the Bears visit No. 8 UC Santa Barbara nex Sunday. Cal defeated the Gauchos 16-6 in the second round of the MPSF Invitational on Saturday.

No. 1 Cal 11, No. 5 USC 10
USC 0 6 4 0
Cal 3 4 2 2
USC Goals: Andrej Grguveric 2, Ashworth Molthen 2, Massimo Di Martire 2, Chris Sturtevant, Marcus Longton, Max Miller, Evan Ausmus
Cal Goals: Roberto Valera 3, Nikolaos Papanikolaou 2, Marko Valecic, Albert Ponferrada, Max Casabella, Jordi Gascon, Warren Loth, Wyatt Mundelius
USC Saves: Kyle McKenney 8
Cal Saves: Adrian Weinberg 17