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Golden Medals: Big postseason weekend for M&W Soccer and Men's Water Polo

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This is obviously the Big Game week, but there are plenty of other exciting Cal Athletics POSTSEASON actions that are worthy of your attention.

The Golden Bears hope to have another big celebration tonight from Florida in the NCAA 2nd round.
The Golden Bears hope to have another big celebration tonight from Florida in the NCAA 2nd round.
Cal Women's Soccer Facebook

Here is the check list for these next few days, starting with yesterday:

(Cal Men's Basketball) Beat Syracuse! DONE

Today: (Men's Basketball) Beat Texas!

Tomorrow: (Football) Beat Stanfurd!!!

But you can say that I'm a greedy kind of guy in wanting to see even more Cal victories.

Today: (Women's Soccer) Beat Florida!

It's GAMEDAY against the Gators in the NCAA Tournament Second Round!

A photo posted by Cal Women's Soccer (@calwomenssoccer) on

Here is the viewing info (more on the game below):

I'll be streaming this in the background while watching the Cal-Texas Men's Basketball 2K Classic Championship game in person.

Sunday: (Men's Soccer) Beat Northwestern Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville!

Today-Sunday: (Men's Water Polo) Beat Long Beach State and then Stanford/USC/UCLA!

It's the MPSF Tournament this weekend, hosted by Long Beach State. The top 3 finisher will likely earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Fri,
Nov 21
Men's Water Polo MPSF 1st Round: Long Beach State Long Beach, CA 10:00 a.m.
Fri,
Nov 21
Women's Soccer NCAA Second Round - Florida at Gainesville, FL 4:00 p.m. Broadcast SEC Network Live Event Tickets Twitter
Fri,
Nov 21
Men's Basketball 2K Classic vs Texas New York, NY 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
Fri,
Nov 21
Volleyball Colorado Berkeley, CA 7:00 p.m. Live Event Live Stats
Fri,
Nov 21
Women's Basketball Hawai'i Tournament - Hawai'i at Honolulu, HI 9:00 p.m. Live Stream Live Event Live Stats
Sat,
Nov 22
Men's Water Polo MPSF Tournament Long Beach, CA All Day
Sat,
Nov 22
Men's Swimming & Diving Texas Diving Invitational at Austin, TX All Day Longhorn Network
Sat,
Nov 22
Women's Swimming & Diving Texas Diving Invitational at Austin, TX All Day Longhorn Network
Sat,
Nov 22
Women's Water Polo UC Irvine Tournament Irvine, CA All Day
Sat,
Nov 22
Cross Country NCAA Championships Terre Haute, IN 8:00 a.m. Live Stream Live Event
Sat,
Nov 22
Football Stanford Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m. FOX SPORTS 1 / FOX Deportes TuneIn Radio
Sun,
Nov 23
Men's Water Polo MPSF Tournament Long Beach, CA All Day
Sun,
Nov 23
Volleyball Utah Berkeley, CA 11:00 a.m. Live Stats
Sun,
Nov 23
Men's Soccer NCAA Second Round - SIUE Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.

Cal Volleyball

I'll actually start this week with a big shoutout to the Cal Volleyball team.

Long time reader may know that Cal Volleyball is probably in a second place tie with Cal Football as my favorite Cal sport behind men's basketball (yeah, I spent quite a bit of time at Haas Pavilion as an undergrad, including acing a Math 54 final that was taken right in the middle of the court). It's been a trying season for the youngish Golden Bears team, but they have finally earn that elusive Pac-12 victory this past week. It is extra special because it came against U$C, who were ranked No.21, and it came on the road at a place where the Bears have not won in 10 seasons (so that included Cal's squads that made the Final Four and the National Championship game).

Cal 3, USC 2: 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13

After eking out a win in the second set, the Golden Bears blew the lead in the 3rd set to lose another close one. Just when it feels like Deja Vu for how this season has gone, the Bears rebounded in a big way by easily taking set 4 to set up the deciding 5th set.

U$C actually managed to have the lead early in the 5th set but the Bears did not quit. The key to the match may be when the Bears were able to get a sideout in a rotation when they have neither of their main senior forces in Christina Higgins and Lillian Schonewise (this part of the rotation when the Bears don't have any finisher has been a problem all season long). USC on a free ball hit a ball that may or may not have been just in. The refs called the ball out, and the Bears were able to rotate and makes things competitive. Showing senior leadership, Higgins took over when the set was tied 12-12 with two big kills. Lara Vuksasovic gave the Bears the much needed W with a kill to end the match.

Unfortunately, the Bears followed that match up with a loss to UCLA where they were again competitive in a few sets but fall just short. Bears will look to double or triple their conference wins when they host the mountain schools this weekend at Haas (tonight vs. Colorado at 7pm and Sunday vs. Utah at 11am).

Cal Women's Soccer (14-5-2) vs. Florida (15-4-1) in NCAA 2nd Round

In case you missed it, check out Arielle Ship's GOLDEN GOAL from last Saturday:

For a recap of the action, you can find that here.

At 4pm today, the Bears will take on the Florida Gators from Florida. The Gators have actually won the NCAA championship once in their history, when they have a striker by the name of Abbey Wambach.

By RPI, Cal is 24th in the nation while Florida is 10th. Florida are the 2nd seed in this region (where the top seed is Stanfurd).

Florida is lead by sophomore Savannah Jordan who has 17 goals and 6 assists on the year. By comparison, Cal's scoring leader senior Taylor Comeau (who got a bit banged up against San Diego State last Saturday) has 8 goals and 7 assists on the year. Florida has a 4 year starter at the goal in Taylor Burke while the Bears will counter with freshman Emily Boyd.

While Florida has the edge on paper, not to mention the home field (even though they are not playing at their regular home), this is soccer after all. A freak bounce here may be a surprising goal and that is all it takes sometimes.

GOAL ON YOU BEARS!

Cal Men's Soccer vs. SUIE in NCAA 2nd Round

This is a bit of an unexpected rematch from earlier this year. Bears beat SUIE 2-1 at Edwards Stadium back on September 21st (6th match of the season) and will host them again with much more at stakes this time.

After a hard battle with Stanfurd where the Bears found equalizer twice to make it 2-2 in the 2nd OT, a game winning goal was scored on the east side of the field just like the day before between the Cal Woman and San Diego State. Unfortunately, this was the Furd men who got the Golden Goal to win a Pac-12 title for them.

Bears may have lost 3 straight matches (all at home too) to close out he season, but the NCAA tournament has basically wiped the slate clean for everyone. Most importantly, the Bears earned one of the top 16 seed (15 overall in fact) to avoid having to play a 1st round match on Thursday. Instead, the Bears waited for SUIE to upset Northwestern and will now take on the Cougars.

Two quick first half goals from seniors Stefano Bonomo and Conor Hallisey were scored in the first 21 minutes of the earlier season match. The Bears did concede a goal but hung on for the win.

Expect the Cal offensive machine to be back to full power on Sunday. It should be a fun match.

Should the Bears survive the challenge from SIUE, UCLA looms in the 3rd round (provided that they also win their 2nd round match of course). The Bears have beat the top overall RPI team twice this season, however.

I'll make an open thread for this for Sunday (even though I'm not sure the game will be streamed/broadcast).

Cal Men's Water Polo

Similar to the Cal Men's Soccer, Men's Water Polo are also in a 3 match losing skid. Against USC last week, the Bears faltered late again to lose the regularly scheduled match against the 6 time defending champs. The Bears have beat USC earlier this year, just like how they have beat Stanfurd earlier in the year only to lose the Big Splash.

All that doesn't matter now as the super important MPSF Tournament starts today. Even with the addition of more NCAA berths, a team from the loaded MPSF Tourney needs to finish in the top 3 to make it to the NCAA championship.

Bears may not have the easiest road with the 5th seed, but they are certainly talented enough to beat anybody this year.

GOAL ON YOU BEARS!

Last but not least: Cal Ice Hockey

While Cal Ice Hockey is just a club sports, we are happy to announce that the Golden Bears have won the Big Freeze against 'Furd.

Wow! How about that final score?

By the way, the jersey this year looks pretty neat:

One quick tidbit on NCAA Hockey though: Arizona State somewhat surprisingly announced that they will be promoting thier club men's Ice Hockey team to NCAA status after getting a donation of ~$30 million this week (this include the cost to add a women's program in something that is probably not Hockey for Title IX purpose). While it is still very very hard to see Cal elevating the Ice Hockey program in the near future, that is still an interesting development. ASU is by far the farthest West (and South) of all the NCAA Ice Hockey programs.

GO BEARS!