Bears splash to No. 4 ranking, extend 8-game winning streak

Cal women’s water polo hosted the Cal Cup, this weekend’s tournament – beginning Saturday, Jan. 29 and concluding Sunday, Jan. 30 – at the Bears’ Spieker Aquatic Complex.

Three-time All-American and 2020 Olympian Emma Wright, who is back after being away for two years of training with Team Canada, scored four goals to lead the Bears to a win over Fresno State.

“I was able to get the opportunity to achieve my dreams,” Wright said. “Not many people can say that they are able to do that. I definitely missed Cal though, and I was super excited to come back… to just play with my Bears again. ”

It was during the game against Fresno State that Cal’s goalie Isabel Williams made 10 saves. This helped the team build a 9-5 lead at halftime, where Williams made her own breakaway and scored the next three goals for the Bears.

Shortly after earning a 12-7 victory over No. 8 Fresno State in their first game of the Cal Cup tournament, the Bears achieved a 11-5 win over No. 15 University of the Pacific.

Williams continued to impress in the next game where she made 11 saves against Pacific.

For Cal, junior Cecily Turner contributed three goals, while sophomore Ruby Swadling and fellow sophomore Reagan Whitney each added a pair of goals for the team.

The Bears wrapped up their first day at Cal Cup with a sturdy advantage.

The following day, Sunday, Jan. 30, Cal played both No. 13 Long Beach State and No. 12 San Jose State.

A game of water polo is played in four 7-minute-long quarters. There are two-minute intervals in between each of the four quarters – providing players with ample rest time.

The Bears’ game against Long Beach State started off with an unparalleled intensity, as the teams were tied 1-1 through the entire first quarter and for the start of the second.

Senior Emma Wright found the back of Long Beach State’s net twice, while also making two steals. The score remained 10-2 going into the last quarter of the game. The Sharks did not score again until there were six minutes in the game and the Bears secured an 11-3 victory.

“One of the goals we set this season was to make water polo history and we’re doing that in strides,” Wright said. “We definitely came out really strong last weekend (at the Cross Conference Challenge) with four wins and we’re hoping to do the same again this weekend and just keep that momentum going.”

And Wright’s manifestation after Cal’s game against Long Beach State, maintaining the momentum and earning another four wins, is exactly what the Bears achieved.

Cal raced out to an 8-1 lead against San Jose State with a little more than half of the second quarter remaining.

The Bears defeated the Spartans 17-10.

Overall, Cal made a grand splash at Cal Cup, fortifying the team’s winning streak: 8-0.

Not only was this an important weekend for the Bears, but Sunday was a big day for Cal’s senior Carson Broad – it was her birthday.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else for my birthday,” Broad beamed. “I love this team and I love this sport – it’s the best of both worlds.”

Thus far, Cal has played a top-15 opponent in every game this season. It won’t get any easier from here, as the team next faces no. Stanford, No. 2 9 Arizona State and No. 13 UC Davis this upcoming weekend, Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6, at the Stanford Invitational.

Cassandra Maciel-Hernandez women’s water polo. Contact her at [email protected].

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