On Sunday, the fifth-ranked Cal women’s water polo team got back on track with a 14-6 away victory over the 12th-ranked University of the Pacific.
Last Saturday night, Cal was defeated 9-8 in sudden victory overtime by No. 5 Hawaii. Cal was then outplayed by Long Beach State for another heartbreaking overtime loss for the second night in a row on Sunday.
Cal made their way back home to face University of the Pacific on Sunday, Apr. 2. The Bears (16-6) were always in control of the game, while the Tigers (18-7) were only able to score two goals through the first three quarters. The six goals scored by Pacific equaled the team’s second-lowest total of the season.
Cal’s Rozanne Voorvelt finished with a hat trick for the second time in her sophomore year, giving her the scoring lead with three goals. Junior Ruby Swadling and seniors Cecily Turner and Shea Salvino all ended with two goals.
Cal’s defense proved to be a crucial factor in the game, with goalie Isabel Williams making several impressive saves throughout the match. The senior concluded the game with 10 saves after playing in three quarters, making her the sixth Bear in the history of the program to exceed the 500 career saves milestone.
A little over three minutes into the play, Cal was the first team to score, and it came in the form of a Swadling goal. Two possessions later, Cal freshman Abby Magee extended its lead, doubling the Bears’ goals ahead of the Pacific.
Voorvelt scored her first goal of the day after Pacific grabbed one back, fighting off a Tiger defender and firing in a backhanded shot from a few meters away to put the Bears back up by two.
Voorvelt blasted one in from the outside a few minutes into the second period, and Salvino slipped a shot by the defenders late in the shot clock that just just crawled across the goal line to make the score 5-1. In the dying seconds of the first half, Swadling scored to give Cal a 6-2 advantage that it would take into the break with.
The Bears stepped up their game and completely controlled the third quarter, which resulted in a 5-0 scoring advantage for the away team. Juniors Maryn Dempsey and Maddie DeMattia scored back-to-back goals, and Voorvelt added another goal from the outside to push the team’s advantage to 9-2.
Salvino completed her hat trick in the last seconds of the third quarter, and Turner scored a hard-fought goal from the middle of the cage to give Cal an 11-2 lead heading into the fourth. The Bears were able to coast from that point on, which allowed them to pull their starters and provide other players with more vital playing time down the stretch. The final two goals of the day were scored by junior Mara Loughlin and freshman Millie Quin.
This victory marks a strong shift to the season for Cal women’s water polo, who suffered two devastating losses and now have a record of 16-6. The teamwill look to carry this momentum into its next inner conference games. After playing in three consecutive games that were not part of a conference, Cal will now compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for the last three weeks of the regular season, beginning on Saturday, Apr. 8 against No. 20 San Jose State.