DAVIS, Calif. – In the first day of competition at Aggie Roundup, the No. 20 Navy water polo team (5-5) split a pair of games. The Midshipmen opened the day dropping a 14-5 decision to No. 3 USC (8-2), but posted an 11-9 victory over Occidental (1-5) in the second game of the day at the Schaal Aquatics Center on UC Davis campus. Sophomore Henry Williams (San Diego, Calif.) scored his first goals of the season, including his second career multi-goal performance in the Mids’ victory.
“This is tough tournament,” head coach Luis Nicolao stated. “Right before we played Oxy, Harvard took UCLA down to the wire. Occidental is better than their record indicates. They gave us everything they had today. There are no easy games. We had two battles today and I am expecting a hard fight tomorrow.”
Offensively, Navy tallied 16 goals in the two games with six different Mids posting multiple scores on the day. Senior team captain Jake Altmayer (Pasadena, Calif.) led the way on the day with four goals, including a hat trick in the Mids’ win, while Williams added three scores. Nathan Duchez (San Jose, Calif.), Hayden Kahn (San Clemente, Calif.), Tommy McKnew (Tiburon, Calif.), and Connor Simpson (San Rafael, Calif.) notched two goals apiece, while Graham Lindner (Bel Air, Md.) rounded out the scoring with a goal.
At goal, Caden Capobianco (Laguna Beach, Calif.) worked both games. The junior finished with 17 saves with eight steals on the day. Capobianco began the day with 10 stops and seven takeaways against No. 3 USC, while adding seven saves and a steal against Occidental.
Navy concludes competition at the Aggie Roundup on Sunday with a game against No. 10 San Jose State (2-3) at 12:15 p.m. (ET) at the Schaal Aquatics Center on UC Davis campus. Live video and live stats will be available throughout the game.
Game 1 Recap: #3 USC 14, #20 Navy 5
Meeting for the first time since 2010, Navy and USC took the pool to open play in the Aggie Roundup.
Lindner slipped a ball passed the keeper to put Navy in front 1-0. USC would answer with a 3-0 run to close out the first quarter and take a 3-1 advantage. The run continued for the Trojans into the second quarter with the designated home team outscoring the Mids, 5-1, in the second stanza. Duchez provided Navy’s goal in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, USC continued its scoring with a 3-0 run to push its advantage to 11-2. In the fourth quarter, the Mids matched the Trojans to provide the final margin of 14-5. McKnew, Williams, and Altmayer each scored in the quarter for the Midshipmen.
Game 2 Recap: #20 Navy 11, Occidental 9
In the second game, Navy earned the victory over the pesky Occidental Tigers.
It was a defensive struggle in the first quarter. Neither team could score until Simpson dented the twine with just 25 ticks remaining in the quarter.
Simpson pushed the lead to 2-0 with an early score in the second quarter. Occidental trimmed the margin to one, but back-to-back goals by Altmayer and Williams increased Navy’s advantage to 4-1. Following an Oxy score, Williams extended the lead back to three, 5-2. The Tigers closed the gap with a goal just before halftime.
The third quarter opened with Occidental trimming the Navy lead to one, 5-4. Kahn responded on consecutive offensive possessions to extend the margin to 7-4, but three straight scores by the Tigers knotted the game at 7-7. Navy regained the lead on an Altmayer goal, but Occidental tied the game with one quarter to play.
In the final frame, the Midshipmen used a 3-0 run to take control. McKnew started the run with his second goal of the day. Duchez and Altmayer scored on back-to-back trips down the pool to give the Mids an 11-8 advantage. Occidental scored a final goal, but Navy was able to secure the victory.