LONG BEACH, Calif. -
The No. 12 UC San Diego men's water polo team posted a pair of upsets over No. 11 Loyola Marymount and No. 9 UC Davis on Sunday to take ninth place for the second straight year at the Socal Tournament hosted by Long Beach State.
UCSD downed LMU for the first time this season in the morning affair, beating the Lions 9-5. It marked the third time in five weeks that the teams had met and the loss marked LMU's (8-5, 5-1 WWPA) first conference blemish this year.
The Tritons then turned their attention to UCD in the ninth-place game on Sunday evening. The Aggies came into the game on top of the WWPA standings with a perfect 10-0 record, ahead of LMU and UCSD in second and third, respectively.
The teams traded the lead three times in the opening quarter, as David Higginson, John Butler, Josh Stiling and Luke Syka scored to help the Tritons escape the first with a 4-3 edge. Hank Dickey gave UCD a slight lead at 6-5 with 55 seconds remaining in the second, but Matthew Michalko tacked one on to even the score at 6-6 heading into the half.
Michalko gave the Tritons the lead for good with 5:32 remaining in the third and Stiling added another to make it 8-6. The teams traded goals until the end of the quarter, when William Brown scored to give UCSD a two-goal advantage.
Graham Saber scored to make it 11-8 less than a minute into the final stanza, his third goal of the match. The Aggies would get a pair back to bring it within one with a minute remaining, but UCSD forced a turnover and then drew an ejection in the final 50 seconds to let the clock run out with the Tritons leading 11-10.
UCSD improves to 11-3 overall and 9-2 in WWPA play. The team returns home to Canyonview Pool on Sunday, October 9 to play No. 3 Cal at noon. Cal fell to Stanford on Sunday to take home second place at the Socal Tournament.