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Back-to-back: Cal defeats both Long Beach, George Washington

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OCTOBER 25, 2022

Cal took on and defeated both the Sharks and the Colonials this past week, inching closer to the end of the season. The George Washington matchup celebrated the seniors on the team as it was the last home game until the NCAA championships that are being hosted in Bear territory. 

Thursday, Oct. 20, the Bears defeated the Sharks 16-14 away in double overtime. Although the Bears were preparing for the matchup knowing that Long Beach is a competitive team, they still had trouble with some of their top players and the multiple overtimes. 

“We were able to just find a way to win but you can kind of do that some times during the year,” said head coach Kirk Everist. “We have to find a way to make a play, stay calm, not get frustrated with yourself or eachother … and trust that eventually we are going to find a way to squeak out a win.” 

As the tide turned over to Saturday’s game, the Bears defeated George Washington in a landslide of 24-10. The beginning of the game served as a senior night that honored the parting members of the team with flowers and posters of themselves. 

“It’s always sad but it’s fun to watch them grow up,” Everist said. “They have been here for five years. They have left a lasting legacy and we are better off as a program for having those three guys on our team.”

The first quarter of the game began with a fight and back-and-forth; by the end of the quarter it was 5-3 Cal and was seeming to be a pretty physical match. 

Halfway through the first quarter, junior Nikolaos Papanikolaou scored to stick the standing at 3-2 but quickly left the pool after seemingly hitting his forearm. 

Papanikolaou did not return to the pool until right before the end of the half, but was out again by the beginning of the third quarter. While fans were concerned when it came to his playing ability, it is not clear as to why he was taken out of the pool. 

This will have to be on the blue and gold faithful’s radar during the UCLA match Saturday, Oct. 29. 

At the half, the Bears made another dedication to the 1992 Cal men’s water polo team who were three-time champions and completed a perfect 31-0 season that concluded with an overtime victory against Stanford. The coach of the team at the time, Steve Heaston, was said to have stated that the secret to that year’s group was their desire to prove something to themselves. 

Following the dedication, there were young children in the crowd that were cheering for goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg. 

“I’ve been playing water polo for two years and it’s my favorite sport because of how competitive and physical it is,” said Drew Landgraf, goalkeeper for the 680 Water Polo Association. “I like how you can see how much you can improve and how much more aggressive it is. He (Weinberg) is a good goalie and blocks a lot of shots and has a really big wingspan.” 

Along with the responsibility of being a part of a collegiate team comes the responsibility for being a role model for younger generations. This is a privilege that not all consider, but Weinberg has. 

“Something I didn’t ever really think about was that I would be the type of person that people would look up to,” Weinberg said. “It makes me push myself a little bit harder knowing that there are kids out there that are watching me. I know that I need to give my 100% whenever I can because maybe I can inspire them. You never know who’s watching.”

Stefania Bitton covers men’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected].

OCTOBER 25, 2022