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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Men’s water polo drops a pair to two of nation’s best

Maybe it was the dumping rain all weekend.

Maybe it was the fact that for the second time in the past three weeks the Aggies played two top-five teams back-to-back.

Whatever it was that forecasted the gloomy report, the Aggies first fell to No. 2 Stanford before losing to No. 5 Loyola Marymount to drop to 9-13 – the first time No. 11 UC Davis has been four games under. Five hundred in six years.

 

Thursday – Stanford 12, UC Davis 4

Despite early efforts to keep the game competitive, the Aggies could not fend off the arguably best team in the country.

Down one at the end of first quarter, UC Davis was on a tear – due mostly to the incredible play of goalie Kevin Peat. The redshirt freshman stuffed six alone in the first quarter and ended the game with a striking 14 saves, including two penalty shot blocks.

The Aggie offense was working early, too, with junior Cory Lyle starting things off with a drawn 5-meter and converting his own penalty shot.

“It felt really good to get off to such a good start,” Lyle said. “We knew if we were going to beat that team we were going to have to be perfect. We almost were in the first quarter.”

Stanford, however, went on to score nine of the final 11 en route to victory.

 

Saturday – LMU 8, UC Davis 4

UC Davis and LMU aren’t too fond of each other.

Seeking revenge for last year’s season-ending loss, the Aggies came out hungry against a very talented Lions squad in a Western Water Polo Association action.

The game was physical from the very start, and did not let up any more than the pouring rain did throughout the 32 minutes of play.

There were a combined 25 exclusions, including two ejections and five others resulting in players sitting out with three major fouls.

This could have worked to the Aggies’ advantage if they could have converted on man-opportunities, but the team had trouble coming up with anything to find the back of the cage.

UC Davis went a lowly one-for-13 on six-on-five opportunities, effectively ending any hope they had of upsetting the Lions.

Senior Adam Bennett had two goals for the Aggies, while freshman Luke Collins and senior Danny Driscoll each had one.

“We could not put the ball away,” Bennett said. “It’s really frustrating because we had great opportunities, but at least we know that team is beatable now.”

 

SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at sports@californiaaggie.com.

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