Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
No. 12 UCSD Returns to Pool for Three-Match Homestand with WWPA Playoffs on Horizon
UCSD comes into Tuesday's match sitting in fifth place in the WWPA with a 10-10 overall record. The Tritons dropped their second consecutive match to No.3 UCLA on Saturday in Los Angeles, 12-4. CMS comes to Canyonview with a 11-10 record and rests just above UCSD in the WWPA standings in fourth place.
UCSD looked as if it would keep pace with powerhouse UCLA on Saturday, as the Tritons matched the Bruins 3-3 through the first seven minutes of the game. Ryan Allred, Jakub Bednarek and Graham Saber contributed UCSD's opening scores, however, UCLA's Ben Hohl would break the tie with 47 seconds left and UCLA would add two more goals before the end of the opening quarter to take a 6-3 advantage.
Bryce Madsen provided the final goal for UCSD just before halftime, making it 8-4 at the break. David Morton registered seven saves on the afternoon, however, the Tritons would be held scoreless in the final stanza.
The loss on Saturday gave UCSD a 4-5 record in the month of October; with three regular season matches remaining before the WWPA Championships on Nov. 19-21, the Triton-Stag tilt is teeming with WWPA playoff implications. If UCSD wins, it will move into fourth place in the WWPA, putting it in position for one of the four top seeds going into the postseason tournament.
The Stags will dive into the pool on Tuesday having lost two of their last three matches. CMS topped La Verne, 13-7, on Saturday morning before falling to No. 9 Loyola Marymount, 9-2, on Saturday afternoon. UCSD beat CMS, 11-8, in the teams' last battle on Oct. 24, 2009.
After the critical match with CMS, UCSD returns to Canyonview on Friday against UCI. The Anteaters have won four of their last six contests, including a 12-9 victory over Pacific on Sunday. Doug Lindsey had three goals and Trent Baxter had two as the ‘Eaters improved to 14-5 overall. Last year, UCI escaped with a pair of one-goal victories over UCSD.
UCSD's final regular season match will be a midday match-up against Pomona-Pitzer (12-13) on Sunday. The Sagehens have lost their last two contests, falling to UCLA and Cal Lutheran over the weekend, 9-4 and 10-5, respectively. UCSD beat Pomona-Pitzer, 10-6, in the only match between the squads in 2009.
Seniors Allred, Bednarek and Madsen will be honored on the pool deck prior to Sunday's match for their years of service to UCSD water polo.
Following the three matches this week, UCSD will host Sunset San Diego and San Francisco Olympic Club, two of California's most prestigious water polo clubs, in a pair of scrimmages on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Tritons face Sunset at 10 a.m. and SFOC at noon. The results of those matches will not count against UCSD's overall record as it prepares for the WWPA Championships the following weekend.