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No. 1 Bears Fall In MPSF Semifinal

Nov 19, 2022

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior center Nikolaos Papanikolaou made history but the No. 1 California men's water polo team fell to No. 4 Stanford 12-9 in the semifinals of the MPSF Championships Saturday afternoon at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center.

Scoring his first goal of the day in the third quarter, Papanikolaou became just the sixth player in Cal program history to score 200 career goals. He joins Chris Humbert (296), Johnny Hooper (245), Ivan Rackov (235), John Mann (218) and Kirk Everist (205). Papanikolaou finished the game with two goals (201 career), one block and four earned exclusions. 

The Cardinal took a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter and wouldn't relinquish it for the remainder of the game. Cal tied things up on three different occasions but was unable to complete the comeback attempt.

Sophomore attacker Max Casabella and senior utility player Jack Deely joined Papanikolaou in scoring twice each for the Bears. Casabella added two assists and three steals in the effort, while Deely contributed an assist and two steals.

Junior goalie Adrian Weinberg had seven saves and a season-high six steals. 

The Bears will take on No. 2 UCLA in the Third Place Game on Sunday at 11:15 a.m.

No. 1 Cal 9, No. 4 Stanford 12
STAN 2 3 3 4
CAL 2 3 2 2

Stan Goals: Jackson Painter (5), Quinn Woodhead (2), Jack Martin, Grant Watson, Beck Jurasius, Riley Pittman
Cal Goals: Max Casabella (2), Nikolaos Papanikolaou (2), Jack Deely (2), Roberto Valera, Garrett Dunn, Albert Ponferrada, 
Stan Saves: Nolan Krutunog 7
Cal Saves: Adrian Weinberg 7