LA JOLLA, Calif. - Despite gaining an early lead, the 12th-ranked University of California San Diego men’s water polo team dropped a 15-12 decision to Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) rival ninth-ranked UC Davis in its final regular season home game Saturday afternoon at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
The loss was UC San Diego’s first in conference play, dropping the Tritons to a 6-1 record in the WWPA and 9-12 on the season. With the win, UCD finished first in the conference with a perfect 7-0 record and improved to 19-5 overall. The Aggies will be the No. 1 seed at the upcoming WWPA Tournament and UCSD will be the second seed.
UCD held a slim 30-28 advantage in shots while UCSD went 7-of-18 on powerplays and 1-for-1 in five-meter penalty shots. The Aggies converted on all three of their penalty shots and went 6-of-15 on extra man opportunities.
Playing in his last regular-season home contest, senior Arman Momdzhyan finished the day with a game-high five goals. Sophomore Skyler Munatones added two goals while tallying three assists and a steal.
The Tritons came out firing, taking a 5-4 lead after the first quarter. The Aggies’ Ido Goldschmidt was the first to score but UCSD added three straight to take a two-goal lead. UCD tied it at four with 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter before Munatones made a penalty shot to give the Tritons the lead.
The Aggies outscored UCSD 5-2 in the second frame to gain a lead they would not relinquish. Four of UCD’s five goals came from powerplay situations while both of UCSD’s goals came from 6-on-5 opportunities.
UCD’s Colter Knight tallied a powerplay goal early in the third quarter but freshman Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt answered, scoring on an extra-man opportunity to make it a 10-8 game. Momdzhyan added two goals in the frame, completing his hat trick as UCSD trailed by two entering the fourth quarter.
Momdzhyan had both of the Tritons goals in the fourth frame but it wasn’t enough as the Aggies were able to hold on and walk away with the three-goal win.
Yurii Hanley had a team-best four goals for UCD while R.J. Quigley made 10 saves in goal.
Before tonight’s game, UC San Diego athletics and the Triton men’s water polo program recognized senior Oleg Koujikov and Momdzhyan playing in their final regular-season home contest.
The Tritons will conclude their regular season schedule with a game at UC Irvine Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. UCSD will then take a short break to gear up for the WWPA Championship, Nov. 17-19 in La Jolla for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championship.
UC Davis 15, UC San Diego 12
UC Davis 4 5 3 3 - 15
UC San Diego 5 2 3 2 - 12
UCD: Yurii Hanley 4, Cory Laidig 3, Ido Goldschmidt 2, Eric Martel 1, Kyle Reilly 1, Olson-Fabrro 1, Jack Stafford 1, Colter Knight 1, Marcus Anderson 1.
UCSD: Sam Thompson 9
UCD: R.J. Quigley 10