SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
The 11th-ranked UC San Diego men's water polo team battled back from an early deficit but could not overtake Santa Clara in the WWPA Championships third place match on Sunday afternoon, as the Tritons fell to the Broncos 7-6 at Sullivan Aquatic Center.
Loyola Marymount defeated UC Davis 9-6 in the championship match for LMU's fourth consecutive WWPA crown. The Lions earn an automatic bid to the 2010 National Collegiate Men's Water Polo Championship hosted by Cal Dec. 4-5.
UCSD ends the year at 13-13 overall while Santa Clara finishes at 19-15.
SCU shot out to a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, extending its lead to 5-1 at the halftime break. John Butler and William Brown scored the lone goals of the second quarter, making it 5-3 going into the fourth quarter.
Brian Donohoe made it 5-4 early in the final frame, but the Broncos responded with another goal to keep their two-goal cushion. Ryan Allred scored and made it 7-6 SCU, but the Broncos scored with 2:30 left to play, once again putting them up by two. Graham Saber would score with 18 seconds left in the match, but the Tritons would not be able to find the tying score in the waning seconds.
Since 2000, UCSD and LMU are the only two schools to have captured the WWPA championship.
Allred earned WWPA All-Tournament First Team honors while Jakub Bednarek was placed on the All-Tournament Second Team.