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Cal water polo upsets top-ranked Stanford

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday November 19, 2001

STANFORD – The No. 6 ranked California men’s water polo team (13-6) upset No. 1 ranked and previously unbeaten Stanford (17-1), 4-3, Saturday in the Big Splash at the Avery Aquatic Center. The upset gave the Bears their third consecutive Steve Heaston Trophy. Heaston was the former Cal water polo coach (1989-98) who led the Bears to three NCAA titles and passed away in 1999.  

Cal senior Spencer Dornin got the scoring started with a goal just over two minutes into the game. Stanford junior Jeff Guyman rallied with a goal at 4:43 in the second period off a deep pass from goalkeeper Nick Ellis. The Bears then tacked on two goals by Greg Panawek and Dornin to make the halftime score 3-1.  

Joe Kaiser chalked up one more goal in the match for Cal, just over a minute into the third quarter. The Bears defense was sturdy and held the Stanford offense to just one goal in the first three periods. Cal goalie Russell Bernstein energized his team 13 saves in the game. Stanford’s Tony Azevedo did not relent, though, and put up two more goals in the fourth quarter to cut the Cal lead to one with three minutes left to play.  

Stanford was unable to capitalize on 6-on-5 possessions throughout the match and the Bears defense was strong limiting the Cardinal to three goals on 31 shots.  

The Big Splash was the final regular season match for Cal and Stanford, who will both compete at the MPSF Tournament, which begins on Friday, Nov. 23 at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley.