NorCal Tournament, Day One
Top Four Hold Serve
The NorCal Tournament's top four seeds all advanced to the semifinals by virtue of winning both of their matches Saturday. Top-seeded USC will meet four seed Stanford at 10:40 am Sunday before two seed California faces three seed UCLA at 12 p.m. Both matches will take place at Kjeldsen Pool.
Long Beach State Upset
Long Beach State, the tournament's ninth seed, was upset by West Valley Junior College, the tournament's 16th seed, 11-7 in a second round consolation match Saturday. The 49ers were coming off of a crushing 8-7 defeat to UC Irvine earlier in the day and were unable to generate enough offense to defeat the Vikings.
Tigers And Cardinal Need Extra Time
Pacific and Stanford needed overtime to decide the winner of their quarterfinal match. The two squads played even the entire way as the match was tied at the end of each period. Stanford took an 8-7 lead early in the fourth quarter but Pacific answered with an equalizer at the 2:25 mark. Neither team could generate another goal to avoid overtime.
The Cardinal once again took the lead early in extra time before the Tigers' final shot attempt caromed off the bar, giving Stanford the 9-8 victory. It was the tournament's only overtime game of Saturday.
After the first day of matches, California has the tournament's top two goal scorers. Seniors Ivan Rackov and Luka Saponjic have eight goals apiece to pace the field. Long Beach State sophomore Nick Rascon is third with seven goals. Sophomore Matt Gronow of UC Santa Barbara is fourth with six goals while seven different players have recorded five goals.
Pepperdine's sophomore goalkeeper Bence Valics leads all keepers with 26 saves. Senior Ryan Freerks of Concordia is second with 23 saves. No other goalkeeper has more than 20.
Day Two Storylines
If seeds hold, the championship match at 5:20 p.m. Sunday will be a rematch of last season's NCAA championship game that saw USC defeat California 12-10 in overtime. The Trojan's semifinal tilt with Stanford is a rematch of last year's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship game, a match USC won 8-7 thanks to a sudden death goal.
The eight Sunday games at Kjeldsen Pool feature teams from only one conference, the MPSF, in what could be a preview of the league's November tournament.
West Valley will look to continue its surprising tournament in an upset bid of Santa Clara at 10:40 a.m. at June Fergusson Pool at Delta College.
Final Matches To Be Streamed Over Internet
Pacific has partnered with Big West TV to broadcast the final matches of the tournament Sunday. For $9.95, fans can buy a tournament pass that gives them access to streams of the championship, third-place, fifth-place, and seventh-place matches. This marks the first time that any NorCal Tournament games have been broadcast live over the Internet.
Follow The Tournament On Twitter
Fans can stay up-to-date with the latest tournament scores and news by following @MWP_NorCal on Twitter. Scores will be posted at both halftime and the conclusion of every match.