Thursday, May 28

Around the League: Men’s water polo avoids upset, soccer teams compete in postseason play

In the Big Splash – the annual rivalry game between Cal and Stanford – the Golden Bears nearly blew a four-goal fourth quarter lead, but held on to hold off the Cardinal 11-10. (Wesley Hardin/Daily Bruin)

While Bruin athletes continue competing in Westwood, here’s a look at some of the biggest news from the rest of the Pac-12.

Men’s water polo
Michael Hull, assistant Sports editor

There were nearly two upsets in the collegiate water polo world last weekend.

In addition to No. 2 USC upending UCLA’s 57-game win streak, No. 6 Stanford nearly took down No. 3 Cal in the Big Splash – the annual rivalry game between California and Stanford.

Cal’s Johnny Hooper and Luca Cupido and Stanford’s Blake Parrish provided a goal each in the first quarter, the Bears only leading 2-1 at the end of it. The next two quarters were when the Bears started to pull away, and by the time the fourth quarter came around, Cupido and utility Odysseas Masmanidis both had hat tricks.

The Cardinal was down four, a fair margin, but against top teams at home, Cal has had trouble closing out the fourth quarter – the Trojans, at the Mountain Pacific Invitational, scored five goals in the fourth quarter alone.

Though the Trojans didn’t come close to tying or overtaking Cal then, Stanford did Saturday.

Two scores from Parrish, one from Sam Pfeil and another from Cody Smith would have been enough to send the game into overtime had Cal’s Vassilis Tzavaras not struck first in the fourth.

The score ended 11-10, the Bears surviving what would be the upset of the year.

Both Cal and Stanford will be in Westwood this weekend for the conference championship tournament, though for a Big Splash rematch to happen, Stanford would have to beat USC and Penn State Behrend, and Cal would have to beat UCLA.

Men’s soccer
Grant Sugimura, assistant Sports editor

At the close of the regular season, the Pac-12 found itself with four teams making the NCAA Tournament, which ties it for second-most conference representatives.

The top two teams in the Pac-12, Stanford and Washington, received first-round byes while San Diego State will host UNLV and UCLA will take on Colgate at Drake Stadium.

All-time, the Pac-12 is 123-96-11 in the NCAA Tournament to go along with five national championships, including last year’s top team, Stanford.

On Tuesday, the Pac-12 announced its All-Conference honors with UCLA’s sophomore midfielder Jose Hernandez and Stanford’s junior forward Foster Langsdorf receiving the Co-Pac-12 Players of the Year awards.

Other mentions included Stanford’s junior defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce who took home the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, and Washington’s freshman midfielder Handwalla Bwana became the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

Pac-12 Coach of the Year went to Jeremy Gunn from Stanford.

The All-Pac-12 First Team consists of five players from Stanford, three from Cal, two from UCLA and one from Washington.

Women’s soccer
Hanson Wang, assistant Sports editor

Six Pac-12 teams entered the NCAA Tournament and five advanced to the second week.

While No. 4-seeded UCLA bested Seattle 3-0, top-seeded Stanford defeated Houston Baptist 4-0 at home and will host Santa Clara Friday night. The Cardinal put the game out of reach by scoring three goals in 20 minutes early in the first half, as all four of their scores came from different players.

Second-seeded USC rebounded from a regular-season-ending loss to UCLA by beating Eastern Washington 3-1. Senior midfielder Morgan Andrews recorded two goals, one on a long-distance strike and the other from the penalty spot. The Trojans outshot the Eagles 35-8, 15 of them before halftime when they scored all three of their goals. USC will host Texas A&M in its second-round matchup Friday afternoon.

Colorado eliminated Oklahoma State by a margin of 3-1, with the Buffaloes’ first two goals both coming as own goals. They will head to top-seeded South Carolina for the second round in the conference’s lone Thursday game.

Utah shut out Texas Tech 1-0 in overtime as redshirt senior midfielder Katie Rogers slotted home a corner kick in the 97th minute. The Utes will take on third-seeded Florida State at USC Friday afternoon.

Cal was the only Pac-12 team to lose in the first round, falling 1-1 (3-2 PKs) to Pepperdine. The Bears finished the season 13-5-3.


Hull joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2015 and contributed until 2017. He was an assistant Sports editor for the 2016-2017 academic year and spent time on the men's water polo, women's water polo, women's soccer, track and field and rowing beats.

Sugimura joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2015 and contributed until 2017. He was an assistant Sports editor for the 2016-2017 academic year and spent time on the women's basketball, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, beach volleyball, men's soccer and swim and dive beats.


Wang joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2015 and contributed until he graduated in 2019. He was an assistant Sports editor for the 2016-2017 academic year and spent time on the football, men's basketball, women's soccer, men's tennis and women's tennis beats.

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