Aggies Close Out Regular Season With Home Finale Against No. 2 Cal

Five Aggie seniors will be honored before the Cal game on Sunday afternoon.  (Wayne Tilcock, <I>Davis Enterprise</i>)
 
Five Aggie seniors will be honored before the Cal game on Sunday afternoon. (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Nov. 8, 2006

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THIS WEEK
Sunday, Nov. 12 - Cal, Noon

LAST WEEK
Saturday, Nov. 4 - Defeated Pacific, 12-7
Sunday, Nov. 5 - Lost to Stanford, 4-9

RECAP
UC Davis split two games with top-10 teams over the weekend as they defeated No. 8 Pacific on Saturday, 12-7, before falling to No. 4 Stanford the following day, 4-9.

The win over Pacific gives the Aggies a 2-1 record against the Tigers in 2006. David Welch was the high scorer for the Ags with three goals. Trevor Long and Adam Bennett each scored penalty goals in the game while Welch, Grant Muenter and Jesse Tweed each scored goals off 6-on-5 chances. Welch scored two of his three goals with the man-up advantage. Mike McGee had a game-best ten saves in the contest.

The victory over Pacific was chosen as the Highlight of the Week by the Western Water Polo Association.

Fans packed Schaal Aquatics Center the following afternoon as the fourth-ranked Stanford Cardinal came to town. With an announced 607 fans in attendance, the Aggies played tough against the Cardinal and were led by Long's two goals in the tough loss. Long was able to convert two penalty shots in the first and fourth quarters. Nick Arrigo and Kevin Bacharach were the other two Aggies to score in game.

For the first time all season, there was no movement in the United States Water Polo Top-20 poll as the Aggies remain No. 14.

UPCOMING OPPONENTS
The Aggies welcome second-ranked California to the Schaal Aquatics Center for their final home game of the season. It also marks the final home contest for UC Davis seniors Long, Welch, Bacharach, Erik Acevedo and Josh McNeely.

The game against the Golden Bears will be played on Sunday at noon.

MATCH UPS
UC Davis and Cal have met twice this season with the Golden Bears coming out on top both times. The teams' first meeting was in Berkeley in September. Welch again led the Aggie charge, this time with two goals. Bennett and Bacharach were the only other Aggies to score in the tough defeat.

The teams met again later in the month during a weekend trip to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Playing at altitude, the Aggies still managed to score five more goals against the tough Golden Bear defense as Long chalked up a team-high three goals. Jeffrey Kurth scored twice in the game while four other Aggies recorded goals.

This match up will send the Aggies into the upcoming WWPA Championships with even more experience against top-notch competition.

HEAD COACH Steve Doten
On Last Weekend: "I thought we played really well against Pacific. It's always a tough match up. We were able to hang around with Stanford a little in the first half of that game. It's always good to go against that level of competition because you can see how well your schemes actually work. After seeing that they held (Southern California) to only one goal in a quarter the night before, we knew they'd be tough defensively. "

On Cal: "Having already played them so early in the season is great for us because we get to gauge how far we've come when we play them this time around. It's a good barometer to see how we've improved. The emphasis is not so much about winning, but seeing how good a game we can give them."

On Preparing for WWPA's: "This is the time of year you need to perform at the highest level possible. We have to step up. Right now we're not changing anything that we normally do. We want to make the most of all the practice time we have. Something you also have to prepare for is the style of refereeing. Stanford got a lot of kickouts and we're going to work on adapting towards how the different games are called. This year there is a lot of parody and it (WWPA) is wide open. It'll be interesting to see how it works out. I think it's great for the sport. Obviously you have to respect (UC) San Diego and LMU...I'm excited to get out there and coach and watch us compete."