Queens College and UC Davis Earn Automatic Berths to NCAA Polo Championships -- November 27, 1997
Queens College of New York City became the first team to qualify for the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships when it defeated the University of Massachusetts by the score of 10-9. The win came on a two-point shot by John Vasek (Santa Ynez, CA) with one second remaining in the game, at the College Water Polo Association tournament, held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. This is the first time that Queens College has advanced to the final four in any sport.
The UC Davis Aggies won the WWPA Championship, shutting down the UC San Diego offense and overcoming a two-goal deficit to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
San Diego looked dominant in the first quarter, jumping out to a 3-1 lead, with balanced scoring coming from Adam Bollenbach, Chris Proietti and Romas Kudirka. The Aggies tied it up in the second quarter at 3-3 on goals by Mike Gotelli and John Hall, but San Diego's Ross Mecham gave his squad a 5-3 lead with a two-point goal with 44 seconds remaining in the half. The teams exchanged goals in the third period, with San Diego holding a 6-5 advantage entering the final frame. Gotelli's second goal tied the match at 6-6 with 5:28 remaining, and 42 seconds later Kevin Loscotoff scored his second and the eventual game winner. Davis goaltender Mike DeJong recorded 10 saves in earning the win.
The game was punctuated with some confusion just prior to the final horn. After taking over possession with 26 seconds remaining, the Aggies worked the ball around the offensive end, but turned it over with 1.6 seconds remaining. San Diego took the ball and immediately called time out. Upon hearing the whistle, the Aggies jumped into the pool in celebration, only to be told there was just over a second remaining. When everything was sorted out, San Diego took a desperation shot at the buzzer that was knocked away well before it reached the goal.