Cal water polo advances to national championship

Cal water polo advances to national championship

Dec. 4, 2010

BERKELEY -- Senior center Zach White scored a goal with 2:41 left in the match to propel the Cal mens water polo team (24-3) to a 7-6 victory over Loyola Marymount (19-9) Saturday (Dec. 4) in the opening day of the 2010 NCAA Mens Water Polo Championship at Cals Spieker Aquatics Center. The Golden Bears, who had to come back from a 6-4 deficit in the third period, scored the final three goals of the match to pull out the win.Cal will next face No. 1-ranked USC (27-2), a 10-7 winner over St. Francis College (24-4) in the other national semifinal, for the 2010 national championship at 3 p.m. Sunday. St. Francis will play LMU at 1 p.m. in the consolation match. The match was a series of runs for both teams. The Bears junior standout Ivan Rackov scored first on a counterattack with 3:03 left in the first period, but the Lions responded on Albert Samuels inside goal with 3:03 in the opening quarter.LMU ran off the next two goals to open the second period on scores by Brian Flacks and Edgaras Asajavicius to take a 3-1 advantage, but Cal came back with three straight goals by freshman left-hander Max Bergeson, Rackov and senior captain Brian Dudley to lead, 4-3, at halftime.Then it was Loyola Marymounts turn to score three straight behind Samuels lob over Cal sophomore goalie Justin Parsons and back-to-back goals from Ikaika Aki.With the Lions leading 6-4 with the third period winding down, Cal turned the match around. Frosh Bergeson scored his second goal of the match with six seconds left in the third period to get the Bears within 6-5. Junior Cory Nasoffs goal with 3:50 left in the fourth period, in which he gathered in a loose ball just in front of the net to score, tied the contest at 6-6.Finally, White gave Cal its first lead since the end of the first half when he scored from two-meters on a strong inside move with a little more than two minutes remaining to put the Bears in the national title match and chance to win their NCAA-record 14th national mens water polo title.Besides two goals apiece from Samuels and Aki, the Lions received outstanding goalie play from senior Andy Stevens, who had 12 saves, including block a Rackov five-meter penalty shot in the second period.It was a great game, said Cal coach Kirk Everist. It certainly was afun game to watch, but maybe not for us because we were almost on the wrong endof it. The guys stepped up to make some plays at the end to get it done. Ithink those are the toughest games. We were maybe a little tight in certaincircumstances, but we had some really nice plays from some different people,which has been the beauty of this team.We had a couple goals from true freshman like Max Bergesonthat really helped us out. Max came in and really lit a fire underusgenerating offense and making Andy (LMU goalie Andy Stevens) start to honorour shots.
Courtesy Cal Athletics media services

Smith leads Chiefs in nail biter over Saints


Smith leads Chiefs in nail biter over Saints


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes in another efficient outing, Daniel Sorensen returned an interception of Drew Brees for another touchdown and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the mistake-prone New Orleans Saints 27-21 on Sunday.

Spencer Ware ran for 77 yards to go with his 46-yard touchdown reception, and Tyreek Hill made an acrobat 38-yard TD catch to help the Chiefs (4-2) win their ninth straight at home.

Brees got the Saints (2-4) within 24-21 with his touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman with 2:33 left, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds. Kansas City added a 41-yard field goal, and the Saints could do nothing in the final 28 seconds to change the outcome.

Brees finished with 367 yards and three TD passes, but much of that offense came while he was trying to rally the Saints. It was actually another uneven performance away from the Superdome for the star quarterback, who was coming off a 465-yard game last week against Carolina.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs showed some mettle after falling into an early 7-0 hole. Ware's touchdown on a screen pass and Sorensen's pick-six off a batted ball quickly turned the momentum, and Hill added his long touchdown reception to make it 21-7 at the break.

The Saints drew within a touchdown on Mark Ingram's catch midway through the third quarter, but the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner fumbled inside the Kansas City 10 with 8:26 left in the game and the Chiefs leading 24-14.

New Orleans got the ball back and eventually scored, but the wasted time proved costly.


The Saints struggled with the crowd noise in Arrowhead Stadium, getting flagged for four false starts and a delay of game. They also got hit with two unnecessary roughness penalties, including one with just over two minutes left that kept them from getting the ball back.


The Chiefs' Andy Reid coached his 300th game Sunday. Most of those were over his 14 seasons in Philadelphia, where he was 140-102-1. He is now 36-21 in his fourth season in Kansas City.


Saints: LB Dannell Ellerbe (quad), LB Stephone Anthony (hamstring) and CB Delvin Breaux (broken leg) left New Orleans without three defensive starters, while starting LG Andrus Peat (groin) was also out. Backup LG Senio Kelemete later left with a stinger, forcing Tim Lelito into the lineup.

Chiefs: Starting CB Phillip Gaines (knee) was inactive, while RB Jamaal Charles (knee swelling) was active in a limited role. He had just one carry early in the game.

Instant Replay: Raiders beat lowly Jaguars, stay perfect on road


Instant Replay: Raiders beat lowly Jaguars, stay perfect on road


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Raiders have been good coming from behind this season, but they haven’t shown a killer instinct.

They’ll create a lead, let it slip and then rally (or not) at the finish.

That didn’t happen this time. They jumped out to a two-score halftime lead, sat on it and never got up in a 33-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This result was a mandatory against a poor Jaguars team with some talent and no cohesion.

A maligned Raiders defense needed this one, even if a solid showing came against a terrible Jaguars attack.

The Raiders kept Jacksonville out of the end zone for 56 minutes and largely corralled quarterback Blake Bortles and speedy receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns with coverage and an improved pass rush.

The offense scored twice in the second quarter, but didn’t do much for most of the second half. Seabastian Janikowski inflated the score with four field goals that kept Jacksonville at arm’s length, and Latavius Murray finally swung the axe on a 9-yard touchdown run with three minutes left

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t great but got the job done. He was 23-of-37 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown. Amari Cooper didn’t do much while shadowed by Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey, but Michael Crabtree came through in the clutch with eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.

This win wasn’t pretty, but they all count the same.

The Raiders move to 5-2 this season, with another chance to win against Tampa Bay next week in this two-game Florida swing.

The offense chose to eliminate risk while up multiple scores in the second half, milk the clock, punt and allow the defense to grind out a victory. They did exactly that, though a Julius Thomas touchdown catch trimmed the lead some with four minutes remaining.

The Raiders struggled to find the end zone early on, but scored steadily and eventually hit pay dirt twice late in the second quarter. They scored 14 points in the final 5 minutes, 32 seconds, which changed the complexion of this game.

The Raiders put together a long, sustained drive, with 63 of its 75 yards gained on the ground. Latavius Murray concluded proceedings with a 2-yard touchdown run that put his team up 13-3.

Jacksonville responded with a field goal, but left too much time on the clock for Carr.

He took the Raiders 75 yards downfield, largely on one perfect over-the-shoulder strike to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree mopped up three plays later with a 2-yard touchdown catch on a well-timed slant.

A barely watchable third quarter produced a field goal for each side as the game grinded to a halt.

Murray’s return helps run game: The Raiders running game hit a lull the past few weeks after a hot start, but it got cranking again in Jacksonville. Latavius Murray’s return and a high carry volume got things going against a middle-of-the-road Jaguars run defense.

The Raiders had 144 yards on 34 rushes, averaging 4.2 yards per carry in this one. Murray led the way with 59 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Lots of yellow: There were a ton of penalties and a few ejections in this game. Johnny Holton and Jalen Ramsey were thrown out for fighting. Malik Jackson was ejected for multiple personal fouls complaining about a roughing the passer penalty.

The Raiders made several mistakes, and were penalized 11 times for 117 yards. The Jaguars were flagged 13 times for 122 yards. The 239 combined penalty yards are a single-game high this season.

Sitting it out: Right tackle Menelik Watson needs a bit more time to recover from a groin injury suffered in Week 3 against Tennessee. He was limited all week but not considered ready to play. Austin Howard started, and Matt McCants was his backup after missing five games with a knee injury. Vadal Alexander also missed work with an ankle injury.

The Raiders were also without core special teams players Brynden Trawick and Taiwan Jones, both down with injury.

What’s next: The Raiders will stay in Florida between Sunday’s game and next week’s contest at Tampa Bay. They’ll practice at the IMG Academy in Bradenton and stay at a nice hotel in Sarasota in the interim to prepare for the Buccaneers.