No. 12 Aggies Finish Unbeaten In WWPA Play

Head coach Daniel Leyson has guided the Aggies to a perfect 5-0 mark in WWPA play in his first season at UC Davis.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Nov. 11, 2013

DAVIS, Calif. - Junior Chris Richardson scored two goals with four assists while four other Aggies scored twice in leading 12th-ranked UC Davis to a 13-7 win over Air Force in Western Water Polo Association men's action at Schaal Aquatics Center on Monday afternoon.

The Aggies improve to 13-12 and finish the WWPA portion of their schedule with a perfect 5-0 mark. The Falcons, among the teams receiving votes in the national poll, end their regular season at 5-13 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Besides Richardson, senior Bernie Rogers, junior Teddy Nicholson, sophomore Austin Beckwith and freshman Max Vigeant each had two goals. Mark Coufal, Jacob Ley and Alex Bagdasarian netted once apiece to round out the scoring, while goalkeepers Philip Bates and Zach Tudhope each recorded six saves in their respective halves in front of the cage.

For Air Force, local product Max Reilly scored two goals. One of six seniors on the Falcon roster, Reilly graduated from Davis High in 2010, alongside current Aggies Nicholson, Michael Wright and Trevor Allen.



UC Davis jumped out to a 7-1 run on the defending WWPA champions. Rogers launched from outside while Nicholson scored down low in the Aggies' 2-0 start. Air Force center Petar Jackovich hit a second-chance shot with just under five minutes to go in the first but Beckwith answered with a power-play goal to set the board at 3-1, launching a stretch of four unanswered.

Nicholson opened the second quarter with another goal from set, pushing UC Davis ahead to a 7-1 edge before Air Force broke its scoreless drought on a Ben Rogers goal at the 6:07 mark. The Aggies led 9-3 at the halftime break, as Bagdasarian scored on an assist from Tyler Elliott with 5:10 to go and Richardson finished a drive with 17 ticks left in the second.

UC Davis extended its lead to as much as 12-4 when Richardson took possession after a Falcon ball-under foul, then fired the entire length of the course to Vigeant, who finished the counterattack. The Falcons responded with a 3-0 rally into the fourth but never cut the margin by less than five. Vigeant struck again at 5:50 in the finale, this time corralling a long outlet pass from Tudhope. The Aggies locked down defensively for the remaining five minutes plus, even dodging what was effectively a 40-second power play for Air Force midway through the frame.

Richardson, Rogers and Nicholson also had two steals each while Vigeant drew two of Air Force's three exclusions.

Monday's game also served as a Senior Day tribute, as Rogers, Elliott, Michael Millstein and Jeff Mayers played in their final regular-season home contest. The Aggies return to action as the No. 1 seed in the Western Water Polo Association championship, held at Schaal Aquatics Center from Nov. 22-24.

Air Force (5-13, 1-4) 1 2 3 1 - 7
#12 UC Davis (13-12, 5-0) 6 3 3 1 - 13

GOALS - AFA: Max Reilly 2, Petar Jackovich 1, Ben Rogers 1, Andy Santala 1, Robby Stiefel 1, Josh Stedman 1. UC Davis: Chris Richardson 2, Teddy Nicholson 2, Austin Beckwith 2, Bernie Rogers 2, Max Vigeant 2, Mark Coufal 1, Jacob Ley 1, Alex Bagdasarian 1.

GOALIE SAVES - AFA: Caleb Guarino 8 (32:00). UC Davis: Philip Bates 6 (16:00), Zach Tudhope 6 (16:00).