Tritons’ Season Ends at WWPA Championship

    The Tritons end the 2012 season with a 16-8 overall record, including 10 wins over nationally ranked NCAA Division I teams, and six WWPA honors recipients — a program record.

    Seniors John Butler and Brian Donohoe received All-Tournament First Team honors for their outstanding contributions during the tournament. Junior Josh Stiling also earned All-Tournament Second Team honors with seven goals scored during the tournament.

    “It’s never easy to beat a team a fourth time,” UCSD Head Coach Denny Harper said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “Both teams knew each other real well; I thought it was a well-played game. They got some really timely goals, some timely stops. They were the better team today. I thought our offense was actually moving along pretty well, the problem was we just couldn’t put the ball away. Their goalie [Mike] Fish had an exceptional game.”

    While Fish managed 14 saves for Air Force, UCSD freshman goalkeeper Cameron Ravanbach also supported the Tritons with 10 saves during the game.

    With the game going back and forth between Air Force and UCSD, the Tritons scored seven points with goals from Donohoe, Josh Stiling, Luke Syka, Matt Michalko and Butler, but the last two goals made by Air Force secured their position as the 2012 WWPA Champions.

    “We had a lot of things to deal with this year on a lot of fronts. I was real proud of how they handled all the different things that came our way. We will regroup as a program because we always do,” Harper said.

    Air Force, seeded third in the tournament this year, is the first team in over a decade to sever the pattern of either UCSD or Loyola Marymount taking home first place in the WWPA Championships.

    “I’m happy for Air Force and I think its great they will get to experience this for the first time,” Harper said.

    After a strong showing in the 2012 season, the UCSD Men’s Water Polo Team will have to wait another year to return to the WWPA Championships for the opportunity to go to the 2013 NCAA Championships.

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