Berkeley, Calif. --- The San Jose State Spartans men’s water polo team kept pace with the No. 4-ranked California Bears in the first half before giving up 8 unanswered points in a 13-5 conference loss at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Sunday, November 1.
“The team played hard and it helped getting Baldridge and Scudder back,” said the Spartans head coach Bruce Watson. “They have been out too long and ran out of gas during Cal’s run.”
In the first period, California (19-4, 5-1 MFSP) jumped at to a quick 2-0 lead with goals by J.D. Ratchford and Johnny Hooper before San José State’s (3-20, 0-7 MPSF) Alek Dendall scored back-to-back goals to tie the match. Dendall scored at the 2:28 and 2:00 marks to raise his goal count this season to 18.
The Bears regained the lead on a shot by Ratchford before Blake Grove tied the score, 3-3, for the second time for San José State at 5:38. California grabbed the lead again on a Hooper goal before Igor Miljan evened the score at 4-4 with 3:53 left in the half. Miljan has scored 22 goals to lead San José State this season.
The Bears took a lead over the Spartans for the final time on a goal from Odysseas Masmanidis to kick off an 8-0 scoring drive that extended into the four period. San José State trailed 7-4 at halftime.
San José State was shutout in the third period as California extending its lead to 10-4. John Moon ended the Spartans second half scoring draught with a goal with 2:13 left in the fourth period to cut the Bears’ lead to 12-5.
Dendall was the Spartans leading scorer in the match with his two first period goals. Ratchford led California’s in scoring with five goals while Hooper added three goals.
Goalkeeper Cole Williams made 10 saves for San Jose State in 32 minutes of action. The Bears’ Peter O’Laughlin had eight saves in the cage.
“Williams played very well in his first big game, he had some good early saves,” Watson said.
The Spartans will be on the road this coming weekend in Southern California playing Loyola Marymount on Friday, November 6, and UC Irvine on Saturday, November 7.