Berkeley, Ca. – A rainy day in Berkeley didn't stop the enthusiasm of two excellent nationally-ranked women's water polo teams competing on a high level.
Cal State Northridge entered the game with a 19-5 record, a #7 national ranking and a school record eleven game winning streak. California had chalked up a 16-5 overall mark with a #4 national ranking.
But in the end, the Golden Bears recorded a 15-10 decision in a non-league game over the Matadors on Saturday afternoon at the Spieker Aquatics Complex.
California scored on each of its first three possessions before Marisa Young scored at the 3:25 mark of the first period. The Golden Bears pushed the lead back to three goals (4-1) at 2:07 but came back CSUN with a Katie Kammer goal with 1:44 remaining in the first period.
Both teams played exceptional defense in the second period. Neither team scored. The score remained California 4, Cal State Northridge 2 at halftime.
The Golden Bears regained their three goal advantage (5-2) early in the third period, but CSUN refused to fold. At the 6:42 mark of the third period, Celena Photopulos found the back of the Cal net to again bring CSUN to within two goals of California.
And again, California struck with another goal to take another three-point advantage, 6-3.
And again, Cal State Northridge refused to budge on a rainy day in Berkeley. Young's 6-on-5 goal at 5:12 cut the Golden Bears lead to 6-4.
And again, California scored another third period goal to regain its three-point lead, 7-4.
And again, Cal State Northridge fought back. Melissa Doll's goal at 2:34 of the third period cut the Golden Bears lead to two goals, 7-5.
And again, California regained its three-point lead (8-5) with 1:27 on the third period clock.
And again, Cal State Northridge scored a goal, this time by Jenny Jamison to cut the Golden Bears lead to two goals, 8-6, with 56 seconds left in the third period.
And again, California regained its three-goal lead thanks to Ashley Young early in the fourth period. The scoreboard read, 9-6 in favor of the Golden Bears.
Then at 6:59 of the final period, the Golden Bears broke the repeating script of the game. A Brittany Vowell goal at 6:59 pushed the Golden Bears lead to 10-6.
Minutes later, Doll scored her second goal of the game. The scoreboard then read California 10, CSUN 7.
Again, Cal's offense couldn't be stopped. Anna Illes, a freshman (Budapest, Hungary) scored her third goal of the game with 5:25 to play to give the Golden Bears an 11-7 lead.
Less than a minute later, Cal's Victoria Williams scored to give the Golden Bears an insurance goal at 12-7.
At 4:23 to play, Lindsy Duncan scored to cut the Cal lead to four goals, 12-8.
But again, Cal refused to fold as Williams scored again at 3:02 to give the home team a 13-8 advantage.
Duncan added her second goal ten seconds later to make the scoreboard read … California 13, Cal State Northridge 9.
Then 1:49 to play, Cal's Ashley Young recorded her third goal to give Cal at 14-9 lead.
Another California goal with 59 seconds to play gave the fourth-ranked Golden Bears a 15-9 advantage.
Bianca Adams added a goal in the final seconds for Cal State Northridge.
Final Score … California 15, Cal State Northridge 10.
Cal State Northridge travels to UC Davis on Sunday (March 30, Noon) in the Big West Conference opener.
CSUN (19-6) 2-0-4-4 = 10
California (17-5) 4-0-4-7 = 15
CSUN Goal Scorers: Melissa Doll 2, Lindsy Duncan 2, Marisa Young 2, Bianca Adams 1, Jenny
Jamison 1, Katie Kammer 1, Celena Photopulos 1
California Goal Scorers: Dora Antal 3, Anna Illes 3, Ashley Young 3, Victoria Williams 2, Brooke Vowell 2, Pippa Saunders 1, Roser Tarrango 1
CSUN Goalie Saves: Kiernan Davis 8
California Goalie Saves: Madeline Trabucco 8