Mohr's Game-Winner Lifts Aggies To Upset Of Spartans

Senior Rachel Tatusko blocked three 6-on-5 shots in the second half of Saturday's 10-9 win over SJSU.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

April 21, 2012

DAVIS, Calif. - Senior center Dakotah Mohr scored a rebound and put-back on a 6-on-5 situation with 16 seconds remaining to lift 11th-ranked UC Davis to a 10-9 upset of No. 8 San Jose State in a collegiate women's water polo game at Schaal Aquatics Center in front of a packed Picnic Day crowd Saturday.

The Aggies improve to 17-12 overall. The Spartans, who had defeated UC Davis three times this season, move to 18-11.

Junior Jessica Dunn scored a team-high three goals, all in the Aggies' five-goal second quarter. Senior goalkeeper Rachel Tatusko tallied 12 saves, while seniors Alicia Began and Ariel Feeney netted two goals apiece.

For SJSU, senior attacker Dani Curran scored four goals, while junior Anna Natalizio and senior Katie Buzzetta each added two more. Senior Meagan Minson posted eight total saves for the Spartans.

After building a 2-1 lead in the first quarter, UC Davis exploded for a 5-1 second period. Buzzetta punched in a 6-on-5 goal to tie the game at 2-2 early on before the Aggies ignited their run on a Began power-play goal at the 5:17 mark. Junior Carmen Eggert posted a key steal at midtank to set up Dunn on a counterattack to make it 4-2 with 4:54 to go, Dunn hit another from roughly five meters out to extend the lead to 5-2, then Eggert bombed an outside shot to put the board at 6-2 with 2:17 left. Dunn completed her hat trick with another 6-on-5 goal with under a minute before the break, giving UC Davis a five-goal halftime edge.

The Aggies extended the lead to its apex of six with Allyson Hansen's strike early in the third period before SJSU broke its nine-minute scoring drought with Curran's first goal of the game. The Spartan attacker scored once more in the third and twice in the fourth, bringing her team all the way back to a 9-9 tie when her shot barred in on the left side with 0:49 on the clock.



With 33 seconds left, UC Davis drew an exclusion at two meters. The first 6-on-5 shot struck the cage and caromed toward Mohr, who fired back with a back-handed effort. The Spartans called a 30-second timeout to run an after-goal play, and senior center Allie Stewart managed a potential equalizer. But Aggie goalkeeper Tatusko was there for the save.

Several UC Davis defensive plays also figured heavily in keeping SJSU from pulling ahead in the fourth. Natalizio appeared to be on her way toward a hat trick with her counterattack opportunity with 5:45. Dunn chased her down to as close as two meters, then teamed with Tatusko on a steal before Natalizio could manage a shot. Mohr and Began also nabbed big steals to end Spartan scoring threats.

UC Davis honored nine graduating players prior to the game, as this was the regular-season home finale. The group included all seven seniors: Feeney, Began, Mohr, Tatusko, Lyndsay Sutterley, Kaylee Queipo-Miller and Carey Faber. Additionally, junior Katie Schlueter and sophomore Jackie Bobson will graduate despite still having eligibility.

The Aggies host the Big West Conference Championship from Thursday through Saturday. UC Davis won the second seed and will thus play the winner of the UC Santa Barbara-Pacific quarterfinal at 4:15 on Friday.

#8 San Jose State (18-10) 1 1 5 2 - 9
#11 UC Davis (17-12) 2 5 2 1 - 10

GOALS - SJSU: Dani Curran 4, Katie Buzzetta 2, Anna Natalizio 2, Rachel Henry 1. UC Davis: Jessica Dunn 3, Ariel Feeney 2, Alicia Began 2, Carmen Eggert 1, Allyson Hansen 1, Dakotah Mohr 1.

GOALIE SAVES - SJSU: Meagan Minson 8 (32:00). UC Davis: Rachel Tatusko 12 (32:00).