#5 Tigers Down #9 UC Davis On Senior Night

#5 Tigers Down #9 UC Davis On Senior Night

STOCKTON, Calif. - Ben Stevenson and Engin Ege Colak each scored four times as No. 5 Pacific dispatched No. 9 UC Davis, 13-10, in a meeting of men's water polo regular season conference champions.

The Golden Coast Conference champion Tigers also received a pair of goals from Kale Ai, and goals from Andrea De Nardi, Eli Lule and Devon Thumwood.

The WWPA regular season champion Aggies were led by Cory Laidig's three goals.

The Tigers opened the scoring as Ai finished alone in front on the Tigers second possession. Colak then broke in on goal and converted a pass from Andres Schmidt for 2-0 lead. Colak struck again rifling in a shot from two meters away before Lule tipped in a pass from De Nardi on the doorstep for a 4-0 lead after the first quarter.

In the second, Ai found Colak for his third of game before the Aggies got on the board. Stevenson answered as he broke in and finished to the left side. After UC Davis added a pair of power play goals, Stevenson ripped in a shot to the left side from four meters away, and then added an unassisted goal as he rose and fired from distance to put Pacific up 7-3. Riley Venne added a goal for the Aggies before Thumwood tallied with a long strike for a 9-4 advantage at halftime.

Ido Goldschmidt converted from four meters away for the Aggies in the third, and Jack Stafford's goal trimmed the Tiger lead to 9-6. But Stevenson answered with a goal inside the two meter off an assist from Luke Pavillard for a 10-6 margin. Thumwood lobbed a pass into the two-meter for De Nardi, who tapped it into the upper left corner from the doorstep for an 11-6 lead with 15 seconds to go in the third.

Spencer Galli picked up a steal and a breakaway goal for UC Davis, but Colak punched in a pass from Ai inside the two-meter to cap a power-play and put the Tigers back up by five, 12-7. Colter Knight chipped in a power-play goal for the Aggies, but John Hedges sprung Ai on a breakaway with a long outlet pass and Ai tucked it into the upper right corner for a 13-8 lead. Laidig added a pair of goals for the Aggies in the final 1:14 to settle on the final margin.

Hedges finished with seven saves and four steals in goal for the Tigers.

The Tigers improve to 17-5 on the season, while UC Davis falls to 19-6. Pacific snapped the Aggies' 10-game win streak and extended the Tigers win streak in the series against UC Davis to 10.

Pacific, which finished the GCC regular season 5-0, earned the top seed in next week's GCC Championship. The Tigers have a bye to the semifinal and will play on Nov. 18 in Irvine.