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Saturday, September 18, 2021

No. 2 California dominates No. 16 UC Davis

The key number Sunday afternoon was two.

It was the second home game of the year for UC Davis. The match was against California, the second ranked team in the country. If that wasn’t enough, the Aggies finished second to the Golden Bears at Schaal Aquatic Center, falling by a score of 11-4.

Cal crafted an early 3-0 lead and without starting hole set Jared Clapham, UC Davis had little chance of coming back against an impenetrable Golden Bear defense.

Early in the second quarter, sophomore Ryan Hagens put in a 6-on-5 look-away shot to get the Aggies on the board.

The score was only one of two 6-on-5 chances the Aggies converted on, as they went two of nine on man-up opportunities on the afternoon.

“We had a really tough time with our 6-on-5’s today,” Hagens said. “It’s something that we really need to work on before conference.”

Cal responded to Hagens’ strike with three unanswered goals to bring the score to 6-1 at halftime.

The Golden Bears continued their scoring ways after the break, opening up a 10-1 lead that proved to be insurmountable.

A flood of Aggie offense came in the fourth period of play as freshman Colin Hicks worked a five-meter exclusion.

Hicks finished what he started by putting away the penalty shot for the score.

Junior Carlos Martinez then recorded an impressive assist on a counter-attack only to follow that with a goal of his own less than two minutes later.

While the Aggies were dominated in the pool on Sunday, they still are happy with their fourth-quarter offensive production.

“Although we were not in the game for most of the day,” Martinez said, “I think it was good that we could still run an offense without our starting hole set in. We are really looking forward to getting Jared back and getting back on track for conference.”

The loss was the second to Cal this season as UC Davis fell 12-4 in Berkeley on Sept. 10.

The Aggies have only three contests left before the Western Water Polo Association Championship is scheduled to start on Nov. 20. Before that, UC Davis returns to action tomorrow at No. 3 Stanford.

SAMMY BRASCH and MAX ROSENBLUM can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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