UC Davis men’s water polo team wins 20-2 against Concordia in conference play
Fans filled the stands at Schaal Aquatics Center in Davis, Calif. on Oct. 15 as the UC Davis Aggies men’s water polo team took on the Concordia University Irvine Eagles in a Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) conference match. The Aggies were ranked number 10 by the NCAA and were 3-0 in conference play coming into the game against the Eagles, winning the previous day 11-5 against Santa Clara, also in a conference match.
The match started off strong for the Aggies, when junior attacker Marcus Anderson put one in the back of the net on a powerplay to give them the 1-0 lead (5:54). Junior utility Ido Goldschmidt added to the Aggies total shortly after at 4:57 on a second Davis powerplay to increase the lead to two. The flurry of goals did not stop for UC Davis when sophomore attacker Yurii Hanley placed a floater in the net, further extending the Aggies lead 3-0 (3:00). Freshman attacker Jack Stafford added to the Aggies lead, scoring at the two-meter mark at 0:40. UC Davis led the Eagles 4-0 after the first, the team also producing a very impressive seven combined steals heading into the second period.
Concordia put a goal on the board in the second period of play on an even strength goal at 5:08, bringing the score to 4-1. On an impressive goal from almost the half distance line, the Eagles scored a second unanswered goal to bring the Aggie lead to only two (4:25). The Aggies were able to answer with a goal of their own, when junior attacker Colter Knight placed one in the net at 2:08 to extend their lead 5-2. Seconds after (1:46), Anderson scored his second of the match on a powerplay goal, bringing the score to 6-2. The Aggies seemed to find the scoring rhythm they produced in the first period, as Goldschmidt smashed one in the back of the net around the two-meter mark to give UC Davis a five-goal lead (0:34). Going into halftime, the Aggies had the 7-2 lead.
UC Davis started strong in the third period, when senior center Morgan Olson-Fabbro scored a behind-the-back goal at 7:04. Senior utility Cory Laidig continued to add on goals for the Aggies, scoring on a powerplay around the 3-meter mark to give them the 9-2 lead (5:35). The goals did not stop for UC Davis, when Goldschmidt earned back-to-back goals, his third and fourth of the match, at 4:53 and 4:30, extending the Aggie lead to an impressive nine goals. Sophomore utility Keenan Anderson scored again for UC Davis at 2:22, bringing the score to 12-2. Stafford was able to put one in the back of the net for the Aggies with a behind-the-back shot, shortly followed by Keenan Anderson’s second at 0:59 and 0:22 respectively, giving UC Davis 10 unanswered goals. After the third period, the score was 14-2 in favor of the Aggies.
“Water polo is a team sport so I feel like my teammates helped me a lot to get me the passes they did,” Goldschmidt said of his four goals scored. “It doesn’t really matter what I scored, I am happy that we won. Compared to yesterday I feel we realized what we didn’t perform as well and tried to fix it.”
Beginning the fourth, on a UC Davis powerplay, sophomore attacker Holden Tamblyn squeezed one through a crowd of players to extend the Aggies’ lead 15-2 (7:09). Senior attacker Spencer Galli added onto the many UC Davis players who scored on the day, scoring his first at 6:22. Marcus Anderson picked a corner and placed the ball in the back of the net for the Aggies, completing his hat trick at the two-meter mark (4:49). Continuing on an absolutely dominating goal-scoring performance, sophomore attacker Max Somple scored at 4:27 to extend the lead for UC Davis to an incredible 16 goals. Concordia could not answer the overwhelming number of goals by the Aggies as Keenan Anderson scored his third at 1:08. Adding fuel to the fire, Somple put his second past the Eagles goalie, the game ending in a 20-2 Aggie victory. There was no question that UC Davis dominated the game, scoring 16 unanswered goals out of their 20 total. Freshman goalkeeper Jonah Addington had an impressive eight saves in the game. The win brought the Aggies’ conference record to 4-0.
“I think that it was a better performance than yesterday and we were a little bit sharper,” said head coach Dan Leyson. “We have been training really hard and pushing our guys for the final push of the season. I wish execution [today] was a little bit better, but still areas for improvement. I still feel like there are two or three crucial plays where we didn’t have the execution that we needed, but compared to before it was better.”
The Aggies then faced four more non-conference teams in the Julian Frazier Memorial Tournament the weekend of Oct. 22 and 23, winning all four of their games. This brought the Aggies overall record to 16-5 on the year. As far as conference play goes for the Aggies, one more home game Saturday Oct. 28 at 12 p.m. and two more away games remains in their attempt to repeat last year’s undefeated conference record.
“I think that we have a lot of room to get better,” Leyson said. “We will watch film and going to continue to just hammer down on ways that we can get better.”
Written by: Ryan Bugsch — firstname.lastname@example.org