Sept. 15, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 12 UC Davis bounced back from an 11-4 loss to No. 5 UC Santa Barbara by taking a 5-3 Western Water Polo Association victory from 14th-ranked Santa Clara to split the first day of action of the NorCal Invitational men's water polo tournament at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center Saturrday.
The Aggies move to 5-2 for the year, 5-0 against WWPA members.
Sophomore Chris Richardson and Bernie Rogers each had multi-goal games during the day. Rogers hit a goal in each of the second and third quarters against the Gauchos, while Richardson popped two goals within less than a minute to help UC Davis pull away from the Broncos in the nightcap.
UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara locked into a defensive battle out of the gates, with neither team scoring in the first quarter. The Gauchos ended the scoreless tie with a counterattack goal with 3:13 left in the second, then Rogers equalized at just under the two-minute mark before the break. UCSB took a 2-1 halftime lead on a 6-on-5 conversion, then extended its lead to 4-1 on goals early in the third period.
Rogers converted an extra-man opportunity with 1:13 left in the third to trim the Gaucho lead to two, but UCSB responded with two more in the final minute of the period, setting the board at 6-2. Seniors Colin Hicks and Jared Clapham each hit 6-on-5 goals in the fourth, but the Gauchos exploded for five tallies in the final frame.
Junior Tony Dito handled goalkeeping duties for all 32 minutes against UCSB. He managed a career-high 12 saves, 10 of which came before halftime.
In the nightcap, UC Davis claimed an early 3-1 lead over Santa Clara through the first quarter. Senior Matt Vowell drew a kickout and scored on his own power play opportunity on an assist from Hicks just a minute into the game. Anders MacCarthy and Hank Dickey each hit goals in the first, but the Aggies did not find the back of the net until Richardson scored two in the third. Vowell again drew a 6-on-5 chance and Hicks again provided the key pass in Richardson's goal at the 4:42 mark, doubling the Aggies' halftime lead of 3-2. Richardson then planted an outside shot from four less than a minute later to push UC Davis' lead to 5-2
As Dito had in the first game, Robert Clemons enjoyed his best game to date as the Aggies' goaltender against SCU. The redshirt freshman tallied 11 saves and three steals against the Broncos, both career-best totals.
UC Davis will take on No. 9 Long Beach State at 10:50 a.m. on Sunday. The Aggies will then face one or the other of WWPA powers Loyola Marymount and UC San Diego, either at 4:50 or 6:15 p.m.
NORCAL INVITATIONAL MEN'S WATER POLO TOURNAMENT
Stanford, Calif. Day 1 Results UC Davis games only.
|#12 UC Davis||0||1||1||2||-||4|
|#5 UC Santa Barbara||0||2||4||5||-||11|
GOALIE SAVES - UC Davis: Tony Dito 12 (32:00). UCSB: Myles Christian 5 (16:00), Chris Witelegge 3 (16:00).
|#14 Santa Clara||1||1||0||1||-||3|
|#12 UC Davis||3||0||2||0||-||5|
GOALIE SAVES - SCU: John Nash 2 (16:00), Matt Pritchett 4 (16:00). UC Davis: Robert Clemons 11 (32:00).