BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—No. 4 California defeated No. 24 CSU Bakersfield 16-5 in the MPSF water polo opener for both schools Saturday afternoon.
The Bears’ (9-1) Emma Wright scored seven times. Wright would score on four of her first five attempts and took 11 shots on the day, the most by any player. She led a Cal power play that tallied four goals on its first six chances. The Bears also received a hat trick from Rachel Lewin. Cal goalie Madison Tagg made eight saves, two of which came on CSUB penalty shots.
Roadrunner goalie Courtney Wahlstrom made nine of her 11 saves in the first half to keep the Bears’ advantage to only four, 7-3. The Bears outscored the ‘Runners 4-1 in the third and 5-1 in the fourth for the final 11-goal margin. Wahlstrom surpassed the 700-career save mark against California. She now has 703 as a Roadrunner, the third most in school history.
Nicola Barrett charted two goals to pace the CSUB offensive. The Bears forced 16 CSUB turnovers compared to only five for Cal. The Bears outshot the Roadrunners 34-22. It was a physical game with the teams combining for 24 ejections. Ashley Paz and Ana Ruiz fouled out for the ‘Runners, as did the Bears’ Kindred Paul.
“Turnovers and missed shots were a key,” said CSUB head coach Jason Gall. “We had some great opportunities but we couldn’t convert and put them away. Courtney was great in the first half but Ashley and Ana fouling out did not help. We are doing some things in spurts, but we have to put it together for four quarters.”
CSU Bakersfield (2-5) returns to the pool next weekend at the UC Davis Tournament. On Saturday, CSUB faces Sonoma State and No. 13 Pacific. On Sunday, the Roadrunners match up against Occidental and the host Aggies who are No. 18 in this week’s CWPA Top 25 poll.
California 4 3 4 5 16
CSU Bakersfield 1 2 1 1 5
Cal Goals-Wright 7, Lewin 3, Mutafya 2, Antal 1, Siepker 1, Carrega 1, Loughlin 1
CSUB Goals-Barrett 2, Lindsey Paulson 1, Helberg 1, Aldridge 1.
Cal Saves-Tagg 8
CSUB Saves-Wahlstrom 11