DAVIS, Calif. - After trailing 6-1 at one point, the 14th-ranked University of California San Diego men’s water polo team rallied back to within one, but ultimately fell to No. 8 UC Davis by a final score of 7-5 in a battle for first place in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), Saturday at Schaal Aquatics Center.
The Tritons finish the regular season at 13-7 overall and finish second in the WWPA at 5-1. The Aggies finish first in the conference with a perfect 6-0 record and improve to 21-4 overall. By finishing the regular season at the top of the league, UC Davis receives a first-round bye in the upcoming WWPA Tournament, Nov. 18-20. UC San Diego will receive the second seed.
Sasa Antunovic led UC Davis with two goals. Cory Laidig, Riley Venne, Ido Goldschmidt, Marcus Anderson and Morgan Olson-Fabbro had one apiece. Aggie goalie Spencer Creed stopped nine shots.
The Tritons allowed UC Davis to get the first two scores of the game. Munatones put UCSD on the scoreboard with a goal on the counter attack with 27 seconds left in the first.
The Tritons were shut out in the second quarter, coming up empty on eight shot attempts, and allowed two Aggie scores. UCSD trailed 4-1 at halftime.
UC Davis grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 6-1 with 3:06 left in the third. The Tritons started to rally and got a five-meter penalty shot converted by Hmeidan and a Momdzhyan score from the post to cut the margin to three going into the final period.
UCSD closed it to within one, 6-5, with 3:31 remaining thanks to a Carniglia goal. Antunovic and the Aggies responded right back on their next possession to make it 7-5. The Tritons could not come up with an answer and came up empty in the final minutes, ultimately falling by two.
UCSD will play two exhibition matches against Sunset San Diego and San Francisco Olympic Club on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively, to gear up for the postseason. The Tritons will travel to the WWPA Championship, Nov. 18-20, in Santa Clara for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championship.
UC Davis 7, UC San Diego 5
UCSD 1 0 2 2 - 5
UCD 2 2 2 1 - 7
UCD: Sasa Antunovic 2, Marcus Anderson 1, Cory Laidig 1, Riley Venne 1, Ido Goldschmidt 1, Morgan Olson-Fabbro 1
UCSD: Jack Turner 14
UCD: Spencer Creed 9