Sunday, April 26, 2015

Aggie men now one game from WWPA glory


UCD senior Bernie Rogers plays defense against LMU's Seth Coldren (16) in the Aggies' 9-7 win over the Lions in Saturday's WWPA semifinal at Schaal Aquatics Center. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | November 24, 2013 |

By going unbeaten in league play, the UC Davis men had already made it evident that the Western Water Polo Association tournament title would be theirs to lose.

Hence, No. 4 Loyola Marymount had an uphill battle against the top-seeded Aggies in Saturday’s first semifinal. And atop that acclivity, UCD found a 9-7 win at Schaal Aquatics Center.

With the victory, the Aggies (now 10-0 in games against WWPA opponents and 14-12 overall) earned a place in the championship contest, where they will match up against second-seeded UC San Diego on Sunday (2 p.m.) at Schaal.

The first to put UCD on the board Saturday was its bona fide standout, senior Bernie Rogers. The league-proclaimed Player of the Year left LMU trailing, a position the Aggies never found themselves in on Saturday.

Closing the gap when opposed by local goalkeeper Philip Bates was no uncomplicated task for the Lions. Bates averaged three saves per quarter, with five of his 12 overall stops coming from 6-on-5 situations.

“We had some great goalie play (on Saturday),” said UCD first-year coach Daniel Leyson. “That enabled us to make some important stops down the stretch. That was big for us.”

Leyson also praised the contributions on offense that came from skilled Aggies who are often overlooked; such as Tyler Elliott, a senior who bolstered UCD’s lead in the first quarter, which ended with the locals up 2-1.

The second period also saw two young Aggies tallying goals: sophomore Austin Beckwith and freshman Max Vigeant. The LMU offense encroached on UCD’s net as well in this quarter, tying the game at 2-2 and 3-3, but Vigeant’s goal within the final minute meant the visitors faced a 4-3 deficit at halftime.

After the break, the recuperated squads returned to the pool much less benign. The Lions (four) and the Aggies (three) went on to each surrender more goals in the third quarter than they did in any of the others.

All of the LMU goals in the first three periods were 5-meter penalty shots or 6-on-5 situations. Two of the Lions’ goals were delivered by sophomore Milutin Mitrovic, who boasted a hat trick by the end of the contest.

The Aggie action in this portion of the match began with Elliott throwing a skip shot that cut through LMU’s defense. Capitalizing on 6-on-5 scenarios, Rodgers and junior Chris Richardson each added a goal themselves.

Rodgers, with less than 30 seconds on the clock in the third quarter, flung a swiftly flying ball into the Lion net to hit his hat trick and cement his team’s 8-6 advantage going into the final period.

After a few initial moments of inaction in the fourth quarter, Mitrovic landed LMU’s first full-strength goal to lift his team to a more hopeful 8-7 with three minutes remaining.

But it wasn’t the Lions making the last-minute goals, it was the Aggies. Junior Teddy Nicholson,  after just making a timely steal, emerged from a torrent of two aggressive Lion guards to find the net at the 30-second mark. The Davis High graduate’s goal made it 9-7, and was the final tally of the contest.

A victory in the Sunday’s finals would earn UCD an automatic berth into the NCAA championship tournament, which will be hosted by Stanford University on Dec. 7-8. The locals last played on this stage 16 years ago.

The aforementioned No. 2 UCSD bested No. 3 Santa Clara, 8-4, in Saturday’s second semifinal. The Aggies will combat the Triton in a matchup that has history in the league tournament.

In 2012, the then top-seeded UCSD knocked UCD in the semis, with a tight 11-9 decision. The year prior, the Tritons prevailed, 8-7, in a title match against the Aggies.

It’s worth noting, however, that the locals upset their impending opponent, 12-11, earlier this month.

Leyson is optimistic about his squad’s ability to claim the WWPA title, yet Saturday’s game for him exposed some adjustment that’s needed before the match.

“We just gotta keep getting better,” Leyson said. “Our execution on 6-on-5’s wasn’t even close to the level it needs to be to win the championship. We definitely have to improve in that respect.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett.



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery



    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery





    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery



    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8



    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6



    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8