DAVIS, Calif. - Junior utility Paige Virgil netted two fourth-quarter goals while senior goalie Avery Dotterer posted 10 saves, but UC Davis came up just short in a 7-6 Big West Conference women’s water polo thriller with Hawaii at Schaal Aquatics Center Saturday afternoon.The Aggies, tied for 12th in Wednesday’s national coaches’ poll, moves to 14-15 for the year and even their conference record to 2-2. The Rainbow Wahine improves to 13-10 overall and 3-1 in Big West play. Virgil scored a hat trick to lead four UC Davis scorers, along with junior Greta Kohlmoos, sophomore Annie Kutt and senior Hannah Harvey. For Hawai’i, junior Chloe Barr and sophomore Irene Gonzalez each hit a pair of scores. The Wahine struggled offensively in the early minutes, with three of their four shots barring out to keep the game scoreless. The Aggies struck first with Virgil assisting Kohlmoos on a power play at the 3:13 mark in the opening quarter, but Gonzalez answered with her own 6-on-5 goal on the next possession, then Nikki-Marie Bell scored out of set to give UH a 2-1 lead. Hawai’i never trailed for the remainder of the game although UC Davis managed to equalize on two more occasions. Kohlmoos found Kutt on the right side for a goal early in the second, evening the game at 2-2. The Wahine scored twice to forge a 4-2 halftime lead, but the Aggies again rallied back to a tie in the third. Harvey won the opening sprint of the second half, then scored seconds later. Virgil drew a kickout on the perimeter and converted her own power play to tie the contest at 4-4 with 5:03 left in the third. Unfortunately for UC Davis, Hawai’i scored three unanswered to pull to a 7-4 lead through the next eight minutes. Taylor Molde scored from the outside in the final minute of the third, Femke Aan scored on a 6-on-5 goal just a minute into the fourth, then Barr went coast-to-coast on a long counterattack with 5:26 left. Virgil scored picturesque goals in the final minutes to bring the Aggies back to one. She scored on a back-handed sweeper from five meters out with 2:11 to go, then launched a missile from the perimeter on a quick-quick power play with 28 ticks remaining. However, that gave Hawai’i a full possession to run out the clock. Saturday marked the third time UC Davis has lost a close game to a Top 10 foe this season. The Aggies lost by an 11-9 margin to No. 4 Cal back on January 28, then 8-7 to then-No. 9 UC Santa Barbara on February 12. They close out their Big West season at UC Irvine on April 15.
|No. 8 Hawai'i (13-10, 3-1)||2||2||1||2||-||7|
|No. 12t UC Davis (14-15, 2-2)||1||1||2||2||-||6|