Cal Men's Water Polo vs. UCLA Open Thread

Cal Jr. Aleksa Saponjic hope to celebrate an upset win over UCLA today. - Adam Pretty

It's a battle of two top 5 team in Men's Water Polo as the Bears face the Bruins. Can Cal finally breakthrough and beat a higher ranked team? GO BEARS!

Fri., Nov. 1, 4:30 PM: No. 5 Cal (13-4, 2-1) at No.2 UCLA (21-2, 2-1)

Where: Spieker Aquatics Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Why is this game important?

Bears have yet to beat a top 4 team this year in the form of USC (not faced them), UCLA (0-1), Furd (0-2), and Pacific (0-1). However, the Bears have easily beat teams behind them in the rankings. With just 6 matches left before the always tough MPSF tournament, Bears need to go on a roll now.

Who to watch?

The Bears feature 2012 first-team All-American Collin Smith and 2012 Olympian Aleksa Saponjic. Smith led Cal with 61 goals and 31 steals last season, and Saponjic won a bronze medal as a member of the Serbian National Team in London and was a 2012 second-team All-American. Cal also returns three honorable mention All-Americans from 2012 that finished 17-8 overall (5-3 in the MPSF) and were runners-up to national champion USC at the MPSF Tournament. Senior Hunter Gettelfinger notched 20 goals and was a top defender with a team-high 46 steals in 2012. Junior goalie Jon Sibley had 110 saves in 12 matches, including 12 saves in his first collegiate match against top-ranked USC, while sophomore Colin Mulcahy tallied 25 goals in 25 matches and was second on the squad with 29 ejections earned as a redshirt freshman.

Actual stats so far:

2013 GOLDEN BEAR MEN'S WATER POLO STATISTICS 10-28-13
NAME (Matches) GOALS
Collin Smith (17) 28
Aleksa Saponjic (16) 27
Colin Mulcahy (17) 22
Farrell South (17) 22
Mitchell Hamilton (17) 15
Thomas Agramonte (17) 14
Hunter Gettelfinger (16) 14
Thomas Carroll (17) 13
Luka Ivanovic (17) 13
Chandler Jarrels-Stickney (17) 13
Giacomo Cupido (17) 9
Blake Kelly (17) 7
Matt Russell (17) 7
Max Schell (17) 5
Chris Daniel (7) 3
Ayal Keren (4) 2
Graham Nesbit (9) 2
John Neumann (12) 2
Andrew Schnugg (6) 1

GOALKEEPER G MINS GA SAVES AG
Michael Boggan 10 248 58 79 7.48
Peter O'Laughlin 1 8 5 2 20.00
Jon Sibley 11 288 64 99 7.11

What is at stake?

Bears are currently not in a good position for an at large bid to the NCAA tournament. Then again, the team typically need to win the MPSF tournament to ensure of a spot in the final four, anyhow. MPSF can only produce two entrants in the conference tournament winner and one at large bid, despite the top 8 or 9 teams in the country all coming from this conference.

GO BEARS!

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