No. 16 Water Polo Closes Regular Season At SCU

Sophomore Chris Richardson has scored 25 of his team-leading 57 goals on power plays this season.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

Nov. 7, 2012

11.07.12 Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Sunday, Nov. 11 - at Santa Clara, Noon

Thursday, Nov. 1 - UC SAN DIEGO (L, 8-11)
Saturday, Nov. 3 - STANFORD (L, 7-18)

TO RECAP: No. 16 UC Davis (12-16, 10-5) lost its final two home games of the year, falling 11-8 to No. 10 UC San Diego in a rare Thursday conference game, then 17-8 to No. 3 Stanford in Saturday's home finale... The Aggies outscored the Tritons after the halftime break but could not overcome an early 6-1 deficit... Sophomore Trevor Allen scored four goals with four drawn exclusions for the weekend... However, the development of true freshman Philip Bates continued during the home set: he posted 11 saves against UCSD then a career-high 14 against Stanford on Saturday... Sophomore Chris Richardson returned to action after sitting out the LMU contest due to injury... He scored three goals (two on 6-on-5 opportunities) with two steals in 40 minutes of playing time.

UP NEXT: The Aggies finish their regular season with a road contest at No. 19 Santa Clara on Sunday... UC Davis has twice beaten the Broncos in neutral waters this season: a 5-3 victory at the NorCal Invite on Sept. 15, then a 9-5 triumph at the SoCal tourney two weeks later.

SANTA CLARA (9-16, 6-8) surrendered a season-high 24 goals against No. 3 Stanford on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the Cardinal visited Schaal Aquatics Center... The Broncos have lost 11 of their last 13 games, although most of that action has come against nationally ranked opposition... SCU's lone wins in that stretch were against Cal Baptist and Fresno Pacific on Sept. 20 and 21; however, the Broncos played No. 12 Brown to a tough 9-7 loss a week ago... Tucker Carlson leads Santa Clara with 45 goals, Theo Nasser has drawn 50 kickouts and seven five-meter fouls, and Kyle Nadel has tallied 24 goals to go with a team-high 33 steals.

"We talk about the pieces where we want to get better. The first is our half-court defense: doing a better job helping our center-defenders, doing a better job at helping our freshman goalie, running a zone and field blocking. I think we've seen that improvement."

The Last Meeting
UC Davis9
Santa Clara5
September 30, 2012
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Aggies Place 15th At SoCal Invite
No. 12 UC Davis dropped a 12-7 decision to No. 19 Saint Francis College of New York, then defeated 17th-ranked Western Water Polo Association leaguemate Santa Clara by a 9-5 final, placing 15th at the SoCal Invitational men's water polo tournament, hosted by UC Santa Barbara.

"So the next piece is our counterattack. It might be a function of the new 25-meter rules, but we're not getting as much from the counterattack. I've challenged the team to not lose the counterattack battle. If we're getting just one or two goals we can't give up more than one or two goals on our defensive counterattack. We gave up too many goals in defensive transition against San Diego and Stanford, so that has become our new focus. Everyone knows the easiest way to score is in transition before the other team gets to set up on defense. As we work on our half-court defense and transition defense, we now have two big things to take from the last weekend and they'll help our overall goal of keeping scores down. We're doing a good job at breaking down defenses - we're drawing a lot of kickouts - so now it's our transition defense that we'll emphasize going into conference."

"The third part of it is our five-man defense. So transition defense, half-court defense and five-man are all key components. We need to win each of those battles. In my opinion, the game is all about 6-on-5s and counterattacks. We're getting a lot of kickouts but we need to improve at converting them. Even improving by small percentages will go a long way at improving the outcome of games. That's what I'm teaching them. It's the little pieces. Right now, we're [scoring] at 40 percent of our 6-on-5s. That needs to be at 50 percent. The 10 percent difference changes the outcome against teams like UC San Diego and LMU. So through all of our tough losses, our injuries and our ups and downs, we're actually very close when you look at the data. We're working very hard at improving on the pieces. Playing Santa Clara is very valuable - it's a great opportunity to get better."