Nov. 9, 2011
Friday, Nov. 12 - CALIFORNIA, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 13 - at Stanford, Noon
TO RECAP: UC Davis (20-9, 11-4) took a weekend off from competition for the second time in a month... The Aggies last played in a grueling road trip at UC San Diego (L, 6-10) and Loyola Marymount (L, 5-8) on October 28-29, playing the top two Western Water Polo Association teams roughly 120 miles apart in a span of less than 36 hours... Senior Walter Eggert scored a hat trick with two steals against the Tritons, but the Aggies shot just 1-for-7 on extra-man situations in Friday's loss... On Saturday, junior attacker Colin Hicks shot 3-for-3 and senior Kevin Peat posted 10 saves... However, UC Davis again struggled on its 6-on-5 opportunities, converting just 1 of 7... In contrast, the Aggies completed exactly half of their 38 6-on-5 chances in the Rodeo tournament at Santa Clara on Oct. 22-23.
UP NEXT: UC Davis closes out its final weekend of play before the WWPA tournament, hosting No. 3 California on Saturday morning, then traveling to No. 4 Stanford on Sunday... Saturday's contest against the Golden Bears will serve as Senior Day, honoring Eggert, Peat, Luke Collins, Ryan Hagens and Aaron Salit for their four years of contributions.
PARKING ADVISORY: Due to the Aggie football game that afternoon, parking in VP Lot 56 (adjacent to Schaal Aquatics Center) will be reserved for TeamAggie members at the "Davis Club" level or higher... Water polo spectators should park in Lots 53 or 57, roughly 500 feet west from Lot 56... (To access these lots, turn left on West Health Sciences Drive before attempting to enter Lot 56).
CALIFORNIA (17-3) escaped with an 8-7 win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, with sophomore Collin Smith breaking the tie with a goal at the 3:02 mark... Zach Greenwood and Ivan Rackov each scored two goals for the Golden Bears... Rackov, a senior attacker from Belgrade, leads his team with 57 goals this season... He is one of nine international players on Cal's roster, which has representation from Serbia, Israel, Italy, Australia, New Zeland, Montenegro and China...
STANFORD (16-4) swept a Southern California trip last weekend, beating Long Beach State, 11-3, then UC Irvine, 14-7... Freshman Alex Bowen scored a hat trick to lead the Cardinal in Saturday's win over the 49ers, then Jacob Smith matched that total the following day... Bowen leads Stanford with 46 goals while Smith ranks second with 33... The Cardinal will face Santa Clara on Saturday before hosting UC Davis on Sunday morning.
HEAD COACH STEVE DOTEN:
On the bye weekend: "I wanted the guys to get a little bit rested. It's a long season with a lot of games, and you can't have a playoff intensity all the time. You need some time to rest a little bit. We allowed for midterms. It was one way to be productive, was to let them be students. And during that time, we've had time to analyze what we do well and what we haven't done well, then work to improve those things. So that has been productive -- working on assessing some things. We have the ability to score in every aspect of the game: half-court, counterattacks and 6-on-5s. Now I'd like our defense to pick it up and do a better job."
On the Cal/Stanford weekend: "Sometimes you don't have 100 percent control over your schedule. Is it tough to play these two teams right before conference? Yes. But it's how we started off the season: we want experience playing the best teams in the country. You can always take something away from that. It will be a real hard test right before the conference tournament."
"I think it's a mental thing, taking on the top teams in the country. You have to be mentally prepared to do it. At the conference championship, you have to be mentally sharp. We try to play smarter overall, on our defense and offense. Then on the physical side, they're well-conditioned and super-talented. It will be as physically hard as it will be mentally. Every game is a big, important game, and will help us prepare for the conference tournament."