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2017 NCAA Men’s Water Polo Tournament: Pacific Holds Off UC-Davis, Advances to Final Four

Via Michael Randazzo, Swimming World Contributor

LA — Thursday evening in 2017 NCAA Men’s Water Polo Match quarterfinal action at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center, the University of Pacific Men’s water polo crew avoided a meltdown of epic proportions. Head Teach James Graham fumed as his squad gave away most of a five-intention lead late in the fit to college of California, Davis earlier than striking on for a Thirteen-12 resolution.


The win over the Aggies (22-7)—representing the Western Water Polo Affiliation (WWPA)—advances the Tigers (21-5) to a semifinal healthy-up Saturday at Three p.m. (PST) in opposition to high seed UCLA (19-4).

After the match Graham pointed to a decisive issue for his group in its first look in NCAAs in 4 years: Luke Pavillard, 2017 Golden Coast Convention Player of the Year.

In a halftime discuss, he informed Pavillard and Ben Stevenson: “We Need you guys to make one thing occur in the 2d half.”

“Luke took that to heart and went out and made some great performs at both ends,” Graham mentioned. “That was once one of the major components in us being a hit tonight.”

The 6-5 Pavillard piled his crew on his large back, leading all scorers with 4 goals while chipping in 4 steals. Engin Ege Colak produced a hat trick, whereas Stevenson had a purpose, two assists and one of the crucial Tigers’ 15 steals on the evening.

Ido Goldschmidt netted three goals for Head Show Daniel Leyson’s squad; M. Olson-Fabbro and Jack Stafford scored twice each and every.

Pacific had hassle closing the door on the Aggies, who led most effective as soon as: 5-4 late in the 2d length. Despite a variety of miscues, including two lob pictures that caught Tiger goalie Alen Osmanovic out of position and a double exclusion midway through the 0.33 length that resulted in a power-play goal By Using Riley Venne, Pacific took keep an eye on of the in shape in the second 1/2, out-scoring UC-Davis 6-1 over a six-minute stretch between the 1/3 and fourth periods.

When Colak scored with lower than 4 minutes closing to make it 13-Eight, the Tigers seemed to have put away the upset-minded Aggies.


Jack Stafford of UC-Davis. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

Aided By the referee’s whistle, Goldschmidt exploded for 3 objectives within the Ultimate minutes. He efficiently converted a 5-meter penalty at Three:20, then beat Osmanovic on a breakaway 20 seconds later. Yurli Hanley victimized the Tiger goalie a minute layer, stealing the ball for a put-again purpose. When Goldschmidt hit on his 2nd penalty shot with a minute left—one in every of three on the evening for UC-Davis—the Tiger lead stood at a single purpose.

The Aggies received the ball again with 37 seconds last, with a chance to ship the suit into additional time. But Stafford shot high and the Tigers have been in a position to run out the sport’s Closing Sixteen seconds for an Eleventh straight win over their native rivals.

Graham, who has been in Stockton the earlier 10 seasons, acknowledged the plain: nerves had been an element for his group Thursday night time.

“We haven’t been to NCAAs seeing that 2013 so it’s understandable that these guys are pretty excited and slightly bit jittery entering the sport,” he stated. “Now we are able to calm down and understand that We Have Now a excellent workforce of guys.”

Saturday’s opponent is one whom the Tigers recognize smartly; Pacific used to tussle once a year with UCLA when each had been participants of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation That All modified remaining 12 Months when Graham’s staff bolted the MPSF to join the Golden Coast Convention. Now the Tigers are on the cusp of advancing to their first NCAA championship healthy-up when you consider that losing a coronary heart-breaking 12-11 additional time decision to USC in the 2013 title in shape.

Graham believes that success on Saturday relies upon taking away the forms of errors that virtually value the Tigers dearly, particularly in opposition to a workforce as disciplined as UCLA. Pacific, which dropped two choices to the Bruins in 2017, both By Way Of a single goal. have an opportunity at pushing the upstart GCC to an NCAA Remaining in its first Year with an automatic qualifier as long as Pavillard is in the pool and so they preserve miscues to a minimal.

“[Saturday is] going to be one of those video games where it’s now not going to come all the way down to great performs But to mistakes,” he defined. “If we will preserve our errors down in opposition to UCLA—we’ve already performed shut video games with them—so long as we’re proper there in spite of everything, we’ve got an opportunity on the upset and getting into the finals.”

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