PLEASANT HILL, Calif. –
The 11th-ranked UC San Diego men’s water polo
team suffered two narrow defeats Saturday during day one of the NorCal Tournament, a two-day competition held at UC Berkeley and Diablo Valley College. Early in the day, the Tritons fell to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara by a 10-7
A few hours later, UCSD dropped a 10-6 decision to No. 15 UC Davis.
The NorCal Tournament features 16 teams, 15 of which are ranked in the
top 20 nationally. The Tritons' overall record falls to 3-5 while UCSB and UCD improve to 3-1 and 7-2 respectively.
A week removed from a 16-6 loss to the Gauchos, UCSD staged a
third-quarter rally Saturday to move within striking distance of UCSB. The Gauchos held on for the win though, securing its
fifth-straight victory over the Tritons.
Seven different players scored in the 12 p.m. game for UCSD, a squad
that faced a 7-2 deficit at halftime but rallied to outscore UCSB 3-1 in
the third quarter to cut the lead to 8-5. The Gauchos and Tritons
traded goals in the final period though and the gap
remained three scores at the end, 10-7.
UCSD All-American goalkeeper David Morton
continued to play well in net,
matching his saves total from last Saturday’s contest with 14 stops in
the losing effort against UCSB.
In the Tritons' next match, a 4 p.m. contest with the Aggies of UCD, UCSD once again fell behind early. The Aggies held a 2-1 lead through the first eight minutes and kept the one-score advantage heading into halftime with the scoreboard reading 5-4. UCD took over the match in the third period, outscoring the Tritons 3-0 during that quarter.
Despite another 11 saves from Morton, UCSD's team defense couldn't hold back the Aggies' attack. Carlos Martinez and Colin Hicks led UCD with three goals apiece. For the Tritons, Ryan Allred
collected two scores while John Butler
, William Brown
, Brian Donohoe
and Jakub Bednarek
contributed one goal each.
The UCD victory snapped a five-match winning streak for UCSD over the Aggies.
The Tritons will return to tournament action Sunday when they challenge No. 19 Air Force at 9:20 a.m. in Pleasant Hill, Calif. UCSD defeated the Falcons 11-6 in the 2010 season opener. AFA also holds a 3-5 record so far this year.