Just final week, a No. 3 Cal men’s H2O polo group (15-3) was in Southern California pang a unsatisfactory detriment and sacrificing a prior ranking to one of a toughest competitors, No. 2 USC.
This weekend, a Bears lapse for a two-game weekend during that they will play Golden Coast Conference teams No. 9 Pepperdine (11-10) and No. 19 UC Irvine (9-10), conjunction of that they have seen nonetheless this season.
Despite a new blow to Cal’s record, a group has had a clever deteriorate overall. Its heading scorer, sophomore assailant Johnny Hooper, has 52 goals, winning not usually a Bears’ stats piece though also all players in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, that includes 4 of a tip 6 teams in a nation. His descent leverage has been reinforced via a season, notwithstanding confronting assertive invulnerability by a competition.
Cal beginner assailant Safak Simsek has also played an constituent descent role, hinting that a hazard he has played so distant during his initial deteriorate will usually grow. He has 21 goals this year. Junior assailant Luca Cupido, who had a late start this deteriorate after recuperating from his coming with Team USA during a Rio Olympics this summer, is finally removing behind to a actor with whom his coaches and teammates are familiar, and he is expected to be behind to normal by a start of contest play after this month.
In a cage, comparison goalie Lazar Andric has done critical contributions to a Bears, reliably demonstrating his poise and skill. He has 123 saves for a season, averaging 11.06 per game.
On Saturday, Cal will transport to play UC Irvine. The Anteaters’ register facilities a lot of younger players as conduct manager Marc Hunt opted to redshirt a poignant series of his strongest and many gifted players. While doing so has facilitated a growth of many immature and fresh players, it has placed his group during a disadvantage, generally when it plays opponents of a Bear’s caliber.
Irvine’s tip scorers are sophomore assailant Jack Trush with 36 goals, youth assailant Ryan Warde with 32 and beginner assailant Bryant Joudrie with 23.
Junior goalkeeper Matej Matijevic has ably stable Irvine’s idea for a infancy of this season. He began his collegiate career with Long Beach City College and San Jose State University, though changed to UC Irvine after determining it was improved fit. He has done 255 saves. He reached his deteriorate high of 18 saves on 5 occasions opposite USC, Whittier, Santa Clara, Pomona-Pitzer and UC Irvine.
Cal plays a second diversion this weekend in Malibu opposite Pepperdine. The final time a dual teams met was roughly one year ago, when a Bears facilely degraded a Waves 26-3 during home in Berkeley. During that game, Pepperdine’s Christopher Dilworth, Spencer Lupin and redshirt youth assailant Mark Urban were a usually players means of creation their shots. All 3 are still on a team.
This season, a dual teams accommodate for a Waves’ final home diversion of unchanging deteriorate play. Pepperdine’s heading scorer is sophomore Marko Asic, who has 53 goals. The Waves’ subsequent tip scorers are beginner Mate Toth and Urban, with 36 and 32 goals, respectively.
Pepperdine’s starting goalie, youth Zack Rhodes, has 205 saves this season. In his best diversion this year, opposite Pacific, he had 18 saves. Following that achievement, he was famous as a GCC Player of a Week.
Given a Anteaters’ and a Waves’ annals and levels of success this season, Cal should expect returning home after this final weekend on a highway with dual some-more wins. The group will not, however, be means to redeem a mislaid No. 2 ranking, and as prolonged as it does not remove any of a subsequent games, will expected enter contest play but any some-more movement.
Sarah Goldzweig covers men’s H2O polo. Contact her during [email protected]