Stockton, Calif. - The No. 6 Pacific men's water polo team was unable to overcome an early deficit as the Tigers fell to No. 3 California 8-6 Saturday, Sept. 24, in a non-conference match at Chris Kjeldsen Pool.
Pacific now sits at 4-3 on the season while California improves to 6-1.
The Golden Bears took an early two-goal lead on back-to-back scores from Ivan Rackov. Sophomore Balazs Erdelyi netted Pacific's first goal with 23 seconds remaining in the first period on an assist from junior Balazs Szabo.
The two squads tightened things up in the second stanza as Cal scored the quarter's lone goal, giving the Golden Bears a 3-1 advantage heading into halftime.
Another Cal score put the visitors up 4-1 early in the third quarter but goals from Erdelyi and senior Joey Doyle brought the Orange and Black to within one at 4-3 going into the final period.
In what would be a back-and-forth final quarter, Cal struck first to take a 5-3 lead. The Tigers battled back with a score from senior Tom Koning to trim the deficit to one at the 5:30 mark, but another goal from the visitors widened the margin back to two.
Pacific once again got back to within one on a goal from Erdelyi with 2:53 left, but the Golden Bears had the answer 30 seconds later, going back up 7-5. Koning tallied his second score of the quarter on a 6-on-5 power play at the 2:05 mark. The Tigers were unable to get a stop on defense, however, as Rackov registered his fourth goal of the match, sealing the victory in the process.
Erdelyi recorded a trio of goals on the day, his third hat trick of the season. Koning added a pair of goals, upping his team-leading season total to 20.
Manning the cage for the Tigers was sophomore Alex Malkis. Malkis recorded 12 saves, his third double-figure block outing of the season.
Rackov scored four goals while four other Golden Bears finished once. Junior Justin Parsons notched seven saves, four of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Orange and Black are back in action tomorrow, Sept. 25, in a match versus No. 14 Concordia at noon. A tilt with Redlands is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. that same day.
|1st Q||2nd Q||3rd Q||4th Q||FINAL|
California: Rackov 4, Balarin, Cupido, Greenwood, L. Saponjic
Pacific: Erdelyi 3, Koning 2, Doyle
California: Parsons 7
Pacific: Malkis 12