Seniors Jump-Start Offense In Win Over Tigers

Brittany Russell was one of five Aggies playing in their final home games. Although a junior by eligibility, Russell is a fourth-year student at UC Davis.<br>(Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
 
Brittany Russell was one of five Aggies playing in their final home games. Although a junior by eligibility, Russell is a fourth-year student at UC Davis.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

April 10, 2004

DAVIS, Calif. - Tiffany Hodgens and Brittany Russell each scored four goals in their final career home games as UC Davis scored seven unanswered to break a 4-4 tie en route to a 14-5 win over Pacific in women's collegiate water polo action at Schaal Aquatics Center Saturday.

The Aggies, ranked 13th in last week's U.S. Water Polo coaches poll, improve to 19-10 on the year. The Tigers drop to 3-22 on the year.

UC Davis fell behind early as Virginia McConnell dropped in a shot from seven meters out in the first minute of play, then Julia Snyder added a counterattack goal at 4:06, giving Pacific a 2-0 lead. The Aggies committed five turnovers before managing a shot at that point.

Russell put UC Davis on the scoreboard with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter, converting an entry pass from Kristin Pfaff. Then defender Katherine O'Rourke added a counterattack goal less than 30 seconds later to tie the game. A 6-on-5 goal by Pacific's Jessica Melcher and an Amy Vasko-assisted goal by Hodgens made the score 3-3 at the end of one period.

"We had that first quarter to get our legs under us, then we started to get that transition going. We scored a lot of goals on counterattacks," said Aggie head coach Jamey Wright. "I told the team this week that we needed to start scoring more in transition instead of relying on our front-court offense. And I didn't want to keep trading goals with UOP. In the second and third quarter, we started to jump on them."

The Aggies took their first lead at 4:09 in the second when Russell scored on an assist by O'Rourke, but McConnell posted her second goal at 2:43 to re-tie the score at 4-4. However, that was the last Tiger goal for almost 13 minutes of play. Helped by Pfaff's fifth steal of the first half, Hodgens scored the winning goal with 1:38 left, igniting a run of seven unanswered goals.

 

 

UC Davis led 7-4 at the break, then 11-4 after three quarters. The Tigers' only goal in the second half came on unusual circumstances. On a man-up play, Morgan Diehl fired at the Aggie cage, only to have her shot deflected by O'Rourke's field block. However, the ball managed to sneak into the unprotected side of the cage for a 6-on-5 goal.

Russell added two goals in the fourth quarter, including a 6-on-5 buzzer-beater from beyond the seven-meter mark.

Johnstone added two goals for UC Davis, while Vasko and Pfaff each finished with two assists. Goalkeeper Nicole Hall posted three saves in three quarters, while Amber Korner added two more in the final quarter.

For Pacific, McConnell led with her two goals. Danielle Sartori recorded seven saves, including five in the first half.

This is the final official Aggie competition until the Western Water Polo Association Championships on April 23-25. However, the team will play two exhibition games during the campus's Picnic Day festivities on April 17.

The game served as the home finale for five UC Davis seniors: Hodgens, Russell, Johnstone, center Alia Hansen and goalkeeper Meggan Brownrigg.

 

 

1

2

3

4

-

Tot

Pacific (3-22)

3

1

0

1

-

5

UC Davis (19-10)

3

4

4

3

-

14

GOALS - UOP: Virginia McConnell 2, Julia Snyder 1, Jessica Melcher 1, Morgan Diehl 1. UC Davis: Tiffany Hodgens 4, Brittany Russell 4, Alli Johnstone 2, Katherine O'Rourke 1, Kristin Pfaff 1, Nicole Lorrimer 1, Annie Preble 1.

GOALIE SAVES - UOP: Danielle Sartori 7. UC Davis: Nicole Hall 3 (21:00), Amber Korner 2 (7:00).