PALO ALTO, Calif. - The women's water polo team battled to the final minute against the No. 4 Golden Bears in day one of the Stanford Invite.
On a rain-induced Saturday night affair, the Orange and Black weathered an early 3-0 first period lead by Cal but could not edge out the victory over their nonconference foe as they fell, 9-7. The Tigers drop to an overall record of 1-1. Cal improves to 5-0 following the win.
Pacific vs. Cal - In Case You Missed It:
- The Tigers fell victim to a 3-0 deficit following the first period as they could not connect from the field. Pacific would miss it's first seven shots before scoring a goal.
- A goal by Viktoria Szmodics and Savannah Fitzgerald turned things around for UOP in the third period giving the Tigers some steady momentum.
- Pacific would trim the lead down all the way just one score, 8-7, with 2:27 to go but Cal responded with a go-ahead goal to put the match out of reach.
- Pacific got off to a slow start in the opening frame. The Tigers had two powerplay opportunities but could not capitalize in the period.
- Mariana Duarte would get three shots on goal but the junior attacker could not find the back end.
- Cal took advantage of UOP's offensive woes scoring three unanswered in the quarter.
- Viktoria Tamas finally got Pacific on the board at the four minute mark, 4:43, taking a solo shot at even strength to give the Tigers their first goal of the match.
- The Tigers drew up back-to-back possessions with a shot on goal but neither Savannah Fitzgerald nor Tamas could find the mark.
- Viktoria Szmodics would give the Tigers life, however, off a powerplay goal at 1:58.
- Cal answered with a goal of their own in the final seconds to end the half back up three, 5-2.
- The Golden Bears pushed their lead to four but the Tigers would keep fighting back as Ana Martinez do Amaral notched her first career collegiate goal off a 5M penalty shot (4:37) and Szmodics found the back of the net (:52) to keep Cal at bay.
- Following the powerplay goal by Szmodics, Fitzgerald sunk a buzzer-beating shot to cut the Bears lead down to two, 7-5, and give UOP an extra push heading into the final period.
- UOP would give up a goal to Cal early on but Brianna Utas helped lead a charge with just over three minutes to go. The freshman fought for position in the middle and stole a ball from a Cal defender sneaking her way in for her only goal of the night (3:42).
- Szmodics answered Utas with another score at 2:27 rallying the Tigers now just down by one goal, 8-7. This marked a hat trick for the senior attacker.
- Cal would find a way to score however (2:12) on the following possession putting them back up two with just over two minutes left.
- After an empty possession on offense, a defensive stop by Fitzgerald gave the Tigers another opportunity at the goal but UOP would be unable to assemble a drive.
- Fellow freshman Toula Falvey helped Ana Martinez register her first collegiate goal after drawing an exclusion at the four-minute mark in the third. Falvey drew a game-high two exclusions in the match along with Duarte and Fitzgerald.
- This is the second-straight match that Viktoria Szmodics has recorded a hat trick. The Nagykanizsa, Hungary native tallied four goals in the Tigers' win over Fresno Pacific last Saturday.
- Clara Vulpisi matched her career-high with nine saves in the Tigers' contest on Saturday. The freshman goalie also registered nine saves against FPU.
Up Next for the Tigers:
- The Orange and Black wrap up the Cardinal classic tomorrow, Febb. 3rd, with two matches against No. 8 Michigan and No. 13 UC Davis.
- The Tigers will face off against the Aggies in their first match of the day at 9:40 AM. UC Davis dropped their match against Cal on Saturday, 13-11, but took a 12-11 win over Michigan in their final match of the night.
- UOP will fight for the No. 8 ranking in their final portion of the tournament as they square off against No. 8 Michigan. The Wolverines are 0-2 in thus far at the Stanford Invite, losing to hosts Stanford 21-9 and to Davis 12-11.