No. 10 UC Davis finishes strong in win over No. 21 CSUN

Junior Paige Virgil had three goals and three assists in Saturday's 13-10 conference win over the Matadors.
(Wayne Tilcock,
March 18, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - Junior Paige Virgil and sophomore McKenna Hauss each scored hat tricks as No. 10 UC Davis battled back from a 6-4 halftime deficit to take a 13-10 win over No. 21 CSUN in Big West Conference women's water polo action at Schaal Aquatics Center Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies improve to 14-13 overall and remain unbeaten in Big West play at 2-0. The Matadors slip to 10-15 for the year and open league action at 0-1.

Virgil and Hauss each scored a 6-on-5 goal in the first quarter then added two more tallies in the second half. Hauss also added four of her team's 12 steals, while Virgil assisted on three other goals. Junior Greta Kohlmoos and seniors Hannah Harvey and Sammy Preston each added two goals, while sophomore Annie Kutt scored once.

Other than a short-lived 2-1 start to the contest, UC Davis did not take a lead until the last minute of the first quarter. CSUN junior Shannon Hovanesian netted two of her game-high four goals in the first quarter, then Madeleine Sanchez scored on back-to-back power plays in the second to boost the Matadors to the 6-4 edge at the halftime break.

However, the Aggies piled up five goals in the third frame to take control of the game. Virgil opened the half with a 6-on-5 goal at the 7:16 mark. Hauss scored on a counterattack then Virgil completed her hat trick on another power play to equalize at the midway point of the third quarter. Madasonne Butler scored on a natural goal on the next CSUN possession to set the board at 8-7, but UC Davis answered with two goals in regaining the lead: Preston made it 8-8 just after the three-minute mark, then Harvey completed a fast break with 0:43 left to give UC Davis the lead for good.

Preston and Kohlmoos each scored in the fourth to make it four unanswered Aggie goals and an 11-8 lead. Kohlmoos' goal also came as a result of Sanchez -- the Matadors' leading overall scorer -- fouling out of the game. CSUN managed to battle back to a one-goal deficit of 11-10 after Hovanesian's fourth tally, but went scoreless for the final three minutes of play. Hauss and Harvey each scored in those final minutes to keep the game out of reach.

Overall, UC Davis scored six goals on 6-on-5 situations, while holding the Matadors to two such scores.

Saturday's game closes out the winter quarter for the Aggies, who climbed back into the national top 10 in Wednesday's national poll. The team breaks for the university's final examinations, then returns to action for a road Big West contest at Long Beach State on April 1.

No. 21 CSUN (10-15, 0-1) 3 3 2 2 - 10
No. 10 UC Davis (14-13, 1-0) 3 1 5 4 - 13

GOALS - CSUN: Shannon Hovanesian 4, Madeline Sanchez 2, Amy Yule 1, McKenzie Pollei 1, Madasonne Butler 1, Alexis Elias 1. UC DAVIS: Paige Virgil 3, McKenna Hauss 3, Sammy Preston 2, Greta Kohlmoos 2, Hannah Harvey 2, Annie Kutt 1.

GOALIE SAVES - CSUN: Niki Van Vugt 9 (32:00). UC DAVIS: Avery Dotterer 6 (32:00).