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Big Splash: No.4 Cal knocks off No.1 Stanford 8-7 in triple OT

After a disappointing 2-2 outing at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, Golden Bears gave Stanford their first loss of the season.

Dora Antal is the all-time Cal leader in goals.
Cal Women’s Water Polo Facebook

Dutch freshman center Kitty Lynn Joustra comes up big in the Big Splash by scoring 4 goals, including the Golden Goal in the sudden death 3rd OT. Joustra also scored a number of equalizers as the Golden Bears actually did not lead at any point of this match until it was over.

Here is the Golden Goal:

Cal goalkeeper Madison Tagg had a great game and made a number of tough saves, particularly late in regulation and in OT.

This is the Bears’ first win over Stanford in 2 tries this year, but the first one that was regularly scheduled (the other loss came from the championship match of the Stanford Invitational).

Bears will next host UCLA from Spieker on Saturday.


California Golden Bears Women’s Water Polo (12-3) at Stanford Cardinal (11-0)

Where: Avery Aquatics Center (Stanford, CA)

When: 5 PM PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

It’s the MPSF conference opener for both teams, but the second official match between the two familiar foes. Golden Bears played the Cardinal in the final of the Stanford Invitation, which was a close 11-9 Stanford victory, where the Bears made the match interesting late but ran out of time.

Unfortunately, the Bears are coming off a two match losing streak at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in Irvine last weekend. After an easy opening day wins against CSUN (17-2) and then UC Irvine (10-6), Bears blew an early lead and lost 5-6 to the USC Trojans on a last second goal. In the 3rd place match, Bears lost another close match via a 5-7 result to the UCLA Bruins; in this one, the Bears surrendered 5 goals to start the match and ran out of time in their bid for a comeback victory.

Golden Bears are led by program’s all time goal leader in senior Hungarian Calympian in Dora Antal with 32 goals on the year. Antal gets plenty of help from fellow senior Hungarian Calympian in Anna Illes, who has 16 goals but plays a great all-around game. Scoring-wise, Bears also have Italian national Carla Carrega with 31 goals and Canadian national Emma Wright with 28 goals. Defensively, Canadian national Kindrel Paul is a big part of the Cal backline. In the cage for the Bears is junior Madison Taggs.

Stanford is coming off a NCAA national championship. The Cardinal have won 5 of their championships (6 total) in the past 7 years. 3 of those championships came when they had Maggie Steffens, the Team USA superstar who just graduated. This year, they are lead by another Team USA 2016 Rio Gold Medalist in sophomore Makenzie Fischer with 23 goals. Her younger sister, freshman Aria Fischer, who was also a gold medal from Rio has 20 goals. Junior Madison Berggren has 21 goals. Junior Kat Klass also has 20 goals, with 5 of them coming against the Bears in the previous meeting. Inside the cage for the Cardinal is redshirt senior Julia Hermann who is in her first year as the primary goalie.

Cal Women’s Water Polo reached a program best No.2 ranking earlier this year (before the two losses last weekend). Bears have never been ranked No.1 in this sport. While the Bears may not leapfrog Stanford with a win, it would still be of great historical significance if head coach Coralie Simmons can lead the Bears to this victory in her 2nd year at the helm of the program. This should be a close match.