LA JOLLA, Calif. -Josh Stiling recorded a hat trick as the No. 11 UC San Diego men's water polo team dropped No. 12 UC Davis 10-6 in Western Water Polo Association play on Friday night at Canyonview Pool.
UCSD improves to 13-7 overall and 11-3 in WWPA play. UCD also is 11-3 in WWPA competition and is now 20-8 overall. The Tritons have beaten the Aggies in both contests between the teams this season.
"It was a good overall effort," said UCSD head coach Denny Harper. "We had a balanced attack, defensively we held down one of the premier two-meter men in the conference, and we got productive minutes from everyone who played."
Harper was referring to UCD's Aaron Salit, who entered the match leading the conference in scoring. However, UCSD would use a steady dose of David Morton to keep Salit off the board. Morton registered 10 saves in the win.
The teams matched each other at 3-3 after the first quarter and then traded goals to open the second frame. Stiling then scored consecutive goals midway through the second quarter to give UCSD a 6-4 lead with 2:47 left in the half.
UCSD would take a two goal advantage into halftime, but have the lead cut to one on Trevor Allen's goal two minutes into the third quarter. Brian Donohoe scored before the final whistle to up UCSD's lead back to 8-6 heading into the final frame.
UCD couldn't inch closer, as Morton led a Triton defense that failed to surrender a goal in the fourth stanza. Matthew Michalko and Graham Saber scored to put the icing on the cake for the Tritons, making it 10-6 with 3:38 to play.
"David (Morton) played a great game. He got off to a rough start but stayed on task and was pretty darn tough in the second half," said Harper.
UCSD will host its final two home matches before the WWPA Championships this coming Friday and Sunday against Santa Clara and UCLA, respectively. Four UCSD seniors- William Brown, Matt Kerchner, Morton and Saber- will be honored prior to Sunday's match with the Bruins.