No. 17 UC Davis Preps For Tough Weekend

Senior co-captain Matt Vowell leads the Aggies in assists (21) and field blocks (19) through 16 games.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Oct. 3, 2012

10.03.12 Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Friday, Oct. 5 - at Pacific, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 - ALUMNI, 10 a.m.
Sunday, Oct. 7 - UCLA, 1 p.m.

at SoCal Invitational (Goleta/Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Saturday, Sept. 29 - vs. UC Irvine (L, 7-13)
Saturday, Sept. 29 - vs. Air Force (L, 11-12)
Sunday, Sept. 30 - vs. Saint Francis (L, 7-12)
Sunday, Sept. 30 - vs. Santa Clara (W, 9-5)

TO RECAP: UC Davis went 1-3 at the tough SoCal Invitational, winning the 15th-place game against WWPA foe Santa Clara... Sophomore Chris Richardson led the Aggies in scoring for the third straight weekend, netting nine goals (on 19 shots) with three steals and six drawn kickouts... Richardson now has scored 42 goals for the year, matching exactly his freshman total from 2011... Senior center Jared Clapham contributed four goals with seven exclusions draw in just 34 minutes... Sophomore Trevor Allen chipped in five goals with five steals... Junior goalkeeper Tony Dito played every minute of all four games, amassing 38 total saves... He stopped a career-high 13 in Saturday's nightcap against Air Force, then surpassed that PR with 14 blocks in the win over the Broncos on Sunday... With the overall strength of schedule certainly playing a part, UC Davis converted just 12 of 32 6-on-5 opportunities (.375) in the four SoCal Invite games after scoring of 33 of 54 (.611) during the five-game Aggie Shootout.

RANKINGS: The SoCal Invite completely reshuffled the national Top 20, dropping UC Davis five spots to No. 17... The Aggies had been at No. 12 since Week 1 after checking in at No. 13 in the preseason... The top four underwent the biggest facelift... Some order of the four Pac-12 institutions (USC, Stanford, UCLA and Cal) have occupied the top four spots since late 2010, when Pacific moved into the No. 4 slot... Now UC Santa Barbara (No. 2) and UC Irvine (No. 4) - Big West Conference schools but Mountain Pacific Sports Federation members in water polo - have broken up the usual Pac-12 stranglehold.

UP NEXT: The Aggies take a break from the rigors of tournament action but face a daunting weekend nonetheless... UC Davis travels to Pacific for a Friday night road tilt, returns home to host its Alumni Game as part of the university's Homecoming weekend, then brings in No. 3 UCLA for a 1 p.m. home matchup... No. 6 PACIFIC (7-5) upset then No. 4 California en route to placing sixth at the SoCal Invitational... Sophomore utility Alex Obert scored five goals in the win over the Golden Bears then added two more in the 9-5 loss to Stanford... Balazs Erdelyi, who lead the Tigers with 40 goals, netted six in Saturday's split with Long Beach State and USC... No. 3 UCLA (15-2) lost a one-goal game to UC Santa Barbara before claiming a 14-8 win over UC Irvine in the SoCal Invite third-place game... Senior Josh Samuels has a team-leading 36 goals for the Bruins, who will face Cal on Saturday before paying visit to Schaal Aquatics Center.

On the SoCal Invite: "We go to that tournament for a reason: they're the best teams in the country. One goal is a big deal. Winning makes you feel good but it's superficial. Losing is part of the process. As a coach or an athlete, it comes to how you handle losing, how you handle adversity. This is a game of inches."

"We're now in that middle of the season when school starts and it's hard to keep everyone focused and fighting in the right direction. As a coach, I'm disappointed. I hoped to improve on our [No. 12] seed because I think we can play with the top 10 teams in the country."

On the upcoming weekend: "We're playing Pacific and UCLA for a reason. They're top four, top five teams. That's where we want to be. We play these games to compete, to learn and to get better. The SoCal tournament makes us better and these games make us better. What happens at this point in the season is a challenge. But our goals are for the conference and for postseason play. These games are part of that process. This is why a university has an athletics program. We learn to work our way through challenges, we learn to deal with adversity and we stay together. And I expect these guys to handle it: they're good guys who work hard. They've been successful, they're successful in the classroom. So I know they will continue to keep working hard so that by the end of the season, it will work out."