Sept. 23, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomores Teddy Nicholson and Chris Richardson each totaled six goals to help 12th-ranked UC Davis to a wild 12-11 win over Chapman and a 16-12 victory over Redlands on the final day of the Aggie Shootout men's water polo tournament at Schaal Aquatics Center Sunday.
The Aggies improve to 10-4 for the season and 9-1 in Western Water Polo Association contests.
Nicholson, Richardson, Colin Hicks and Bernie Rogers each scored two goals in UC Davis' morning contest with Chapman. Junior goalkeeper Tony Dito tallied seven saves, including three key stops down the stretch to help the Aggies hold off the charging Panthers.
In Sunday's nightcap with the Bulldogs, Nicholson and Richardson accounted for half of the team's offensive output. Rogers and sophomore Trevor Allen each had two goals for the Aggies, eight converted eight 6-on-5 chances plus a five-meter penalty shot.
UC Davis established a 4-1 lead late in the second period, thanks in part to a backhand, over-the-shoulder goal by center Jared Clapham at the 2:28 mark. Nicholson fired in a power-play goal with 15 seconds left in the half to give the Aggies a 5-2 edge at the break.
However, Chapman rallied in the second half as UC Davis found itself in foul trouble. On the first possession after the break, senior Anders MacCarthy was called with an exclusion foul. Not aware that he was the player charged, he failed to exit the course in a swift manner, thus incurring a five-meter penalty. Chapman's Mark Alvarado hit the shot to bring the tally to 5-3.
Later in the frame, facing a three-goal deficit midway through the third period, Chapman charged again. Chase Middleworth hit a penalty shot and Dylan Trumbull completed a 6-on-5 to cut the margin to 7-6. Alvarado tied the game just 26 seconds later on a third five-meter penalty shot. Meanwhile, Richardson, MacCarthy and senior co-captain Matt Vowell fouled out of the game during the third quarter.
Hicks managed to restore the UC Davis lead to two with his extra-man goal at the 1:09 mark in the third, but he too fouled out of the game early in the fourth. Chapman closed to a one-goal margin on three different occasions in the final quarter. Each time, UC Davis answered with a goal while Dito made his big saves on the defensive end.
In Sunday's match with Redlands, the Aggies fell behind the Bulldogs deficits of 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before equalizing on a Trevor Allen counterattack in the final seconds of the stanza. This proved to be the first of eight unanswered goals, giving UC Davis a 9-4 halftime edge and a 11-4 lead just a minute into the third.
But as Chapman had done in its morning matchup with UC Davis, Redlands fought back in the third. The Bulldogs put up six goals (to the Aggies' five) in that frame, then pulled to within a 14-11 deficit on Grand Harrington's 6-on-5 goal with 6:23 left in the fourth. Richardson completed two power plays down the final stretch while the Aggies successfully defending on back-to-back five-man defenses in holding onto the win.
UC Davis continues tournament action at the SoCal Invitational, the second of two major West Coast tournaments that feature the top teams in the national rankings. The Aggies are pooled with UC Irvine, California and WWPA member Air Force in the tournament, hosted by UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 29 and 30.