DAVIS, Calif. -
Despite a three-goal effort from sophomore Brian Donohoe
, the ninth-ranked UC San Diego men's water polo team dropped a tough 6-5 decision to No. 11 UC Davis in a Western Water Polo Association matchup on Friday afternoon at Schaal Aquatics Center.
With the victory, the Aggies improve to 12-5 on the year and move to 11-0 in WWPA play, while the Tritons fall to 9-8 overall and 5-3 in league contests. UCSD is now 0-2 against UC Davis in 2010 and Friday's outcome should figure heavily in the seeding for the WWPA Tournament in November.
Carlos Martinez scored a pair of 6-on-5 goals to lead the UC Davis attack, while goalkeeper Kevin Peat finished with six saves in the cage.
Donohoe scored in each of the first three quarters for the Tritons, while Graham Saber and Bryce Madsen also found the net. David Morton tallied five stops in goal.
The Aggies struck first when Cory Lyle finished off a successful counterattack just three minutes in, but Donohoe answered for the Tritons with 0:21 left in the first period to tie the score at one.
Saber's goal from two meters gave UCSD an early edge in the second period, but Walter Eggert's successful lob knotted the contest at 2-2 two minutes later. After Martinez scored with 3:07 left in the half, Donohoe came through with the equalizer once more, but Hank Dickey's score would give Davis a 4-3 halftime lead.
Both teams scored twice in the third quarter, as the Aggies held on to their one goal advantage at 6-5 after 24 minutes of play.
The Tritons and Aggies traded defensive stops in the fourth period. Donohoe managed three shots on a possession with two minutes remaining, but was unable to put a ball past Peat. The Tritons had one last chance with 24 seconds left, calling a 30-second timeout to set up the offense. However, Martinez prevented UCSD from advancing beyond the seven-meter line for most of the final stretch and Peat collected a steal at two meters and ran out the clock, sealing the victory for the Aggies.
UCSD outshot UC Davis by a slim 22-21 margin, but the Aggies converted two of their three 6-on-5 chances. Meanwhile, the Tritons were successful on just one of three, with Peat making a save on an extra-man shot in the third period.
Head coach Denny Harper's squad will look to bounce back at Santa Clara on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.