No. 12 Aggies Open Strong At Irvine

Hank Dickey scored with 1:09 left in the fourth to cut UC Irvine's lead to just two in Friday's season opener.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

IRVINE, Calif. - Sophomore attacker Trevor Allen recorded a hat trick while four other Aggies netted two goals each as 12th-ranked UC Davis battled No. 6 UC Irvine in a tough 14-12 loss in non-conference men's water polo action at the Anteater Aquatics Complex Friday night.

The Aggies open the year at 0-1. The Anteaters improve to 3-0 overall.

Sophomore Chris Richardson and seniors Colin Hicks, Anders MacCarthy and Hank Dickey put up two goals each in support of Allen. Junior attacker Bernie Rogers added a goal in the fourth quarter. For UCI, junior driver and reigning MPSF Player of the Week Mitch Wise posted five goals while Jacob Mourer and Boran Hrlec each had three. This is the third straight game in which Wise has scored exactly five.

The Anteaters opened to a 6-3 lead through the first quarter and a 10-5 edge at halftime. Richardson and Hicks each hit five-meter penalty shots while Allen scored on a lob from the three spot to account for UC Davis' three goals in the opening frame. MacCarthy converted an assist to open the second quarter, cutting the UCI lead to two, but the Anteaters responded with three unanswered in the next two minutes - including back-to-back by senior hole set Nick Pfeil - to stretch their margin to 9-4. Hicks converted a 6-on-5 chance with 5:02 left to bring the score to 9-5.

Dickey figured heavily early in the third quarter, scoring on a 6-on-5 chance just a minute after the break then drawing a five-meter penalty just 30 seconds later. Richardson hit the shot for his second goal. The Aggies reduced the `Eater lead to three, first on another Allen lob at 2:24 then on MacCarthy's goal with 1:56 left. Hicks drew a kickout and Meisel assisted MacCarthy for that goal to put the board at 12-9.



UC Irvine scored two more to finish the third quarter but were held scoreless in the fourth. Allen completed his hat trick on an another extra-man opportunity, Rogers scored on a bar-down shot from four, and Dickey scored from two meters with 1:09, bringing the score to 14-12. MacCarthy's steal gave UC Davis another opportunity to cut further into the lead but the Anteaters stopped the threat and played effective clock management down the final stretch.

Freshman Robert Clemons and junior Tony Dito split goalkeeping chores for the Aggies. Clemons had three saves in his first half of work, then Dito managed two blocks with four goals allowed in his two quarters in net.

The Aggies continue their Southern California weekend at the Inland Empire Classic, hosted jointly by Redlands and LaVerne. UC Davis will begin tournament play against Whittier at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

#12 UC Davis (0-1) 3 2 4 3 - 12
#6 UC Irvine (3-0) 5 5 4 0 - 14

GOALS - UC Davis: Trevor Allen 3, Colin Hicks 2, Chris Richardson 2, Anders MacCarthy 2, Hank Dickey 2, Bernie Rogers 1. UCI: Mitch Wise 5, Jacob Mourer 3, Bojan Hrlec 3, Nick Pfeil 2, Larson Pfeil 1.

GOALIE SAVES - UC Davis: Robert Clemons 3 (16:00), Tony Dito 2 (16:00). UCI: Alex Kazmier 6 (32:00).