After losing 10 of their last 13, the Aggies were looking for a spark to get some momentum going into the Western Water Polo Association Championships starting on Nov. 20.
They got just that, as they grinded out a 7-6 victory over No. 13 Pacific on Friday afternoon for their first win of the month.
One day later, UC Davis fell to Santa Clara 10-4, the team they will most likely meet in the first round of the WWPA Tournament next weekend.
The loss to the Broncos also marked the last home game for the Aggies this season.
Friday- No. 16 UC Davis 7, No. 13 Pacific 6
Senior Defender Jim Breen scored a natural hat trick to lead UC Davis past the Tigers for the second time this season.
“This was a really solid win for us,” Breen said. “It was a dogfight but we needed the confidence going into conference.”
Friday marks the second upset over Pacific for the Aggies, as the then No. 18 Aggies beat the No. 10 ranked Tigers in September.
UC Davis fell behind 1-0 early but Breen scored two of his three in the first period to put the Aggies up 3-1.
The teams battled to 5-5 in the third before Breen scored his final goal with one minute remaining in the third frame, putting UC Davis up for good.
Junior lefty Matt Richardson put his second strike of the game away in the fourth to cushion the lead to two goals.
Saturday- No. 14 Santa Clara 10, No. 16 UC Davis 4
Seniors Breen, Brendan Sigourney and Dave Cooper were honored on Saturday as they played their last game at Schaal Aquatics center after five years of dedication.
Senior Day also brought about an important match-up against conference foe Santa Clara.
As a probable opponent next weekend at conference, coach Steve Doten decided to play his bench and keep the Aggies’ game plan secret.
UC Davis fought hard in the first quarter, knotting the score at 2-2 at the end of eight minutes of play.
Santa Clara senior Jack Wall then scored one of his four goals to ignite a streak of five unanswered goals, as the Broncos moved out to a commanding 7-2 lead.
The Aggies shot just 4-for-29 on the day including 2-of-9 on man-up opportunities.
“It was really bad we had to go out like this,” Cooper said. “We really wanted to give the home crowd a win.”
Cooper scored his first goal of the season in the first quarter to give the Aggies their only lead of the game.
Richardson, Ryan Hagens and Russell Hampton all added one strike for UC Davis.
The Aggies drop to 13-15 on the season and 8-7 in conference games.
UC Davis resumes action at the WWPA Tournament, held at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. from Friday through Sunday. The seedings will arrive from the conference office early next week.
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.