Following another win against the Gauchos, the Bears are riding the high tide heading into a matchup against UC Davis. With their team boasting a current record of 12-1, fans are hopeful that the Bears will continue to dominate the pool and keep their season-winning streak against their UC opponents.
The Aggies are entering the pool this Wednesday with an overall 9-5 record. Although the two teams have yet to pair up this season, Cal defeated UC Davis last fall 14-11 at the Aggie Shootout in Davis, leading fans to believe that this matchup will be no different.
At last year’s shootaround, junior Adrian Weinberg contributed 15 saves in the game against Davis and attributed them to blocks of the defensive players. Going into this matchup, teamwork and communication will be critical roleplayers as past games come down to the wire in defensive saves.
Similarly, UC Davis and Cal both fell to Stanford this season. However, the Cardinal defeated the blue and gold by only one as opposed to the Aggies’ five, allowing fans to anticipate that the Bears’ skill set will allow them to excel against Davis as well.
Although the Stanford game remains Cal’s only loss of the season, the team still has room for improvement before their rematch on Nov. 12 on Cardinal territory. In order to stay competitive and defend their title, the Bears need to win every game they can and demonstrate their dedication in the water.
With talents like Nikolaos Papanikolaou and Weinberg, the team is expected to be powerful and overcome the obstacles that are placed before them. Despite the duo powerhouse, a well-rounded team comes with more than just one or two players who can lead the way. This was demonstrated in the UC Santa Barbara game as sophomore Jake Howerton came through with four goals that finished off the third quarter. Fans hope to see this distribution of goals consistently throughout the season and especially Wednesday night, as a victory would provide the team and fans alike with more breathing room when it comes down to the final seconds of the match.
This will once again all come down to the communication of the team and making sure that the Bears are putting their best foot forward.
Going into this game, there is a lot for the team and coaches to think about — how they can work best as a team, what type of communication will prove most effective and what improvement they want to see from players. These questions will stay relevant as the team prepares for future rematches as well, including USC on Oct. 15 and eventually Stanford.
The Bears will play the Aggies on Wednesday at 6 p.m.