Exclusions Hamper Aggies In WWPA Upset

Senior Luke Collins scored two goals in Sunday's loss to Santa Clara.<br>(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)
 
Senior Luke Collins scored two goals in Sunday's loss to Santa Clara.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)
 

Oct. 9, 2011

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DAVIS, Calif. - No. 18 Santa Clara scored all but one of its goals on 6-on-5 opportunities or five-meter penalty shots in taking a 9-6 upset over No. 10 UC Davis in a Western Water Polo Association match at Schaal Aquatics Center Sunday. Seniors Aaron Salit and Luke Collins each scored two goals to lead the Aggies.

UC Davis slips to 16-7 for the year and 10-2 in WWPA contests. Santa Clara moves to 11-10 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

Senior Walter Eggert and junior Russell Hampton also scored a goal in aid of the Aggie offense. Goalkeeper Kevin Peat tallied nine saves, including eight after the halftime break.

For SCU, sophomore Theo Nasser, senior Brett Zylstra and senior Marcus Akerland each netted two goals. Senior goalkeeper Michael Wishart posted 11 saves, with two coming against Aggie five-meter penalty shots.

UC Davis failed to find the back of the cage in eight attempts in the first quarter while the Broncos stormed to a 3-0 lead. Akerland hit what would be the only natural goal of the game at the 4:53 mark, James Case hit a penalty shot, then Nasser scored his own putback on a 6-on-5 chance with 1:13 to go in the first.

The Aggies eventually broke the seal on the Bronco goal at the 6:26 mark in the first when Hank Dickey drew a five-meter foul and Collins converted the shot. After Zylstra's successful five-meter a minute later, UC Davis again reduced the lead to two as Matt Vowell assisted Collins for a goal from the left wing. However, SCU tacked on two more on a five-meter and an extra-man spot to extend its lead to 6-2. Wishart, who had four saves in the first quarter, matched that total in the second. He stopped Trevor Allen's penalty shot with 1:34 remaining in the half.

Aggie senior Walter Eggert hit an outside shot with four-hundredths of a second left before the break, putting the halftime score at 6-3 in Santa Clara's favor.

UC Davis shot just 3-for-17 in the first half, and continued to struggle in the third with a 1-for-7 frame. The Broncos converted two more 6-on-5 chances while Wishart stopped Matt Manchenton's five-meter penalty attempt and Colin Hicks' extra-man try. Early in the fourth, Nasser completed a second-effort goal on yet another 6-on-5 situation to put the Broncos to their largest lead of 9-4.

The lefty Hampton scored from the five position with 4:24 to go and Salit collected Eggert's entry pass to punch in a 6-on-5 goal with 3:07 left, bringing the deficit to three. Neither team managed to score in the last three minutes as SCU largely entered a clock-management mode.

UC Davis takes a weekend off from official competition, hosting its Alumni Game on Saturday, October 15. The Aggies return to action on October 22 with the two-day, four-game Rodeo tournament at Santa Clara.

#18 Santa Clara (11-10, 5-3) 3 3 2 1 - 9
#10 UC Davis (16-7, 10-2) 0 3 1 2 - 6

GOALS - SCU: Theo Nasser 2, Brett Zylstra 2, Marcus Akerland 2, James Case 1, Jimmy Moore 1, David Guibord 1. UC Davis: Luke Collins 2, Aaron Salit 2, Walter Eggert 1, Russell Hampton 1.

GOALIE SAVES - SCU: Michael Wishart 11 (32:00). UC Davis: Kevin Peat 9 (32:00).