The Aggies may have walked away from the weekend with a Western Water Polo Association win, but the game they wanted so badly slipped through their finger tips.
UC Davis failed to close out UC San Diego after picking up an early lead, eventually falling to the Tritions, 9-6, and losing any hope of being the second seed in the conference tournament.
On the Aggies‘ Senior Day, however, the team defeated UC Santa Cruz in dominating fashion at Schaal Aquatics Center, 14-3.
Friday – UC San Diego 9, UC Davis 6
For the second straight week, the Aggies faced off with a WWPA rival and fell due to their inability to score in the second half.
The Aggies felt the heat of the Friday night crowd, going up 2-0 early in the second quarter.
But the Tritons fought back to even the score by the half, mostly due to senior Daniel Garcia, who had two of his four goals in the second quarter.
UCSD dominated the second half, scoring four consecutive strikes to give the Tritons the lead that never disintegrated.
The Aggies brought a bit of excitement to the fourth when Adam Lindsay scored his second goal of the day to cut it to a two-goal game. Within the same minute the Aggies drew an exclusion and looked like they were going to shave the lead down to one with over two minutes to play.
But UC Davis‘ inability to convert on man-up opportunities once again proved to be their maker. In the Loyola Marymount and UCSD games, the Aggies went a combined 2-for-19 on 6-on-5 opportunities.
“We’re definitely in a slump,” senior Grant Muenter said. “We need to figure something out before conference, because our hole sets are doing all this great work and our 6-on-5 offense is just not getting it done.“
Sunday – UC Davis 14, UC Santa Cruz 3
This day was about the seven seniors who comprised the core of the Aggies‘ team.
For their last game they will ever play at home, all seven seniors started – including Lindsay wearing an unfamiliar red cap in the cage.
Senior Adam Bennett notched a hat trick, with all his goals coming in the first quarter to help UC Davis to victory.
The Aggies focused on their seniors with special announcements at the beginning of the game and then a senior lunch following the win. Six of the seven seniors spent a period of five years playing at Schaal Aquatics Center.
“I loved every minute of it,” senior Phillipe Chordas said. “I don’t have any bad memories here, only great ones. It’s all about the team. I love every one of these guys. They’re all my best friends.“
The Aggies improve to 10-14 on the year and return to action in a game with huge implications this Saturday at Santa Clara.
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at email@example.com.