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Davis, California

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Men’s water polo posts loss against Pacific

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

Aggies take tough 7-11 loss against Pacific Tigers, honor graduating senior Tennyson May

In an exciting game at Schaal Aquatics Center last Saturday night under the lights, the UC Davis men’s water polo team played a hard-fought match against the Pacific Tigers, which ended in a 7-11 loss for the Aggies. Heading into this game, the NCAA had Pacific ranked as No. 5 and UC Davis as No. 8. This loss brings the team’s overall record for the season to 21-5.

The beginning of the first period proved very promising for the Aggies, as sophomore attacker Ido Goldschmidt assisted junior attacker Cory Laidig at the 5:44 mark to put the Aggies on the board 1-0. Pacific soon tied the game up, and quickly took the lead at the 1:19 mark on a 6-on-5 conversion, 2-1. UC Davis used the short time left in the first period to its advantage, as freshman center Eric Martel tied the game up for the Aggies at 2-2. Junior goalkeeper Spencer Creed racked up an impressive four saves against the Tigers in the first.

On a five-meter penalty shot and a goal in the second period, Pacific extended their lead on the Aggies 5-3. Another goal by the Tigers increased the lead on UC Davis to 6-3 at halftime. The only goal for the Aggies in the second period was scored by sophomore utility Nick Coufal.

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

The third period of play proved to be very exciting for the UC Davis, as sophomore utility Sasa Antunovic brought the Aggies to within two goals of the Tigers twice. Antunovic scored an impressive three-goal hat trick this period, his first being at the 6:55 mark and the second just a minute later.

After two goals by the Tigers, increasing their lead to 9-5, sophomore center defender Riley Venne put the ball in the back of the net at 2:15, helped by an assist from Goldschmidt. Antunovic was not far behind, and scored his third which reduced the Tigers’ lead to 9-7.

Pacific increased its lead with two more goals in the fourth period of play. Though UC Davis outshot the Tigers 26-25, the Aggies could not make any more goals, and the game ended 11-7, Pacific.

“[We] are facing a different caliber of an opponent than some of the other teams that we face. It is a much more difficult game a different level of pressure in terms of getting punished for your mistakes,” said head coach Daniel Leyson. “I think it is a positive for us. We have never played Pacific this close, being within a couple goals. With a couple different plays we are much closer. That is the difference in these types of games is that you have to convert your crucial opportunities.”

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

Even with the Aggies’ tough loss, the night was not complete without honoring lone senior center and captain Tennyson May, who played his last game at Schaal Aquatics Center.

“It is pretty surreal,” May said. “It is one of those moments that you think about and never really think is actually going to come. It is a cool feeling. I love this team, I love this school and to be a part of this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

The next match for UC Davis men’s water polo will be at the Western Water Polo Association Championships hosted by Santa Clara from Nov. 18 to 20, where the Aggies will enter as the number one seed.

Written by: Ryan Bugsch — sports@theaggie.org

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