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GRESHAM, Ore. — It was deja vu all over again – to quote philosopher Yogi Berra – as the Sierra Pacific Division Champion/No. 1-ranked Aggies of the University of California-Davis defeated Pacific Coast Division Champion/No. 2 California Polytechnic State University in the Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship title for the second time in as many years by claiming a 5-4 win in the 2018 edition of the championship tournament at Mt. Hood Community College.

The victory provides UC-Davis the program’s fourth Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship in five attempts as the Aggies previously claimed the 2012, 2013 and 2017 tournaments.  In the history of the championship, UC-Davis now holds the second most crowns as the 2018 crown allows the team to surpass Michigan State University (2001, 2002, 2006) for the second most National Championships behind seven-time winner Cal Poly (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

The title game marked the fourth time the two West Coast uber-teams have squared off for the crown with the Mustangs claiming a 6-2 win in 2011 at the University of Notre Dame before the Aggies picked up the 2012 (2-1 W at Florida State University) and 2017 (9-8 W at University of Pittsburgh) crowns.  In 2013, UC-Davis topped the University of Central Florida, 6-3, at the University of Minnesota to mark the only time an Aggies’ championship run did not end against Cal Poly.

Squaring off for the second consecutive year with the ultimate prize in collegiate club water polo at stake, neither team disappointed in a battle of top-two ranked teams in the nation.

Cal Poly jumped on the scoreboard first as Claudia Macedo (Sr., San Martin, Calif.) cranked in a shot with 4:49 left in the first quarter to stake the Mustangs to an 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard.  It was not until the 2:40 mark of the second quarter that either team was able to put another ball into the cage as Taylor Best (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.) stuff in a shot to build Cal Poly’s lead to 2-0.

Down by a pair with the clock winding down on the game’s first half, UC-Davis’ offense finally awoke as Player of the Game Sydney Preston (So., Huntington Beach, Calif.) converted on a man-up opportunity at 2:31 to move the Aggies within 2-1.  However, the Mustangs reared back and threw in another strike as Emily Milton (Fr., Reedley, Calif.) notched a man-up marker with 12 ticks left in the second quarter to give Cal Poly a 3-1 lead at the break.

The margin continued to balloon as Maddie David (Fr., Pleasanton, Calif.) stroked in yet another power-play opportunity with 2:05 on the third quarter clock to give the Mustangs a nearly insurmountable 4-1 lead.

However, the Aggies started to climb back into the contest as Sofia Caryotakis (Sr., Portola Valley, Calif.) drilled in an even-strength chance at 1:42 followed by a six-on-five conversion by Dallyce Marglon (Sr., Tracy, Calif.) with 12 seconds left to move UC-Davis within 4-3 going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams’ defenses stiffened as neither squad was able to put away another goal until Preston pushed across a point with 4:37 left in regulation to knot the score at four-all and compress five months of work during the season (January-to-May) down to a four minute sprint for the title.

UC-Davis completed its comeback and fourth championship run with exactly three minutes left as Hailey Jackson (So., San Diego, Calif.) uncorked the game-winner for the 5-4 final.

For UC-Davis, Preston lead the way with a pair of goals, while Marglon, Jackson and Caryotakis each found the back of the cage once.  Between the pipes, Kelley Cartwright (Sr., San Diego, Calif.) made eight saves in the first half prior to Cassidy Crouch (So., Clovis, Calif.) coming in to stop one shot in the second half to claim the win.

Cal Poly received single goals by Milton, Macedo, David and Best to go along with eight saves by Sierra Sheeper (Sr., Menlo Park, Calif.).

The title game berth marked the 12th time Cal Poly has reached the title tilt following wins in 2003 (vs. Michigan State University), 2004 (vs. Dartmouth College), 2005 (vs. Dartmouth), 2008 (vs. University of Oregon), 2009 (vs. University of Notre Dame), 2010 (vs. University of Michigan) and 2011 (vs. UC-Davis), along with losses in 2002 (vs. Michigan State), 2007 (vs. Fresno State University), 2012 (vs. UC-Davis), 2017 (vs. UC-Davis) and 2018 (vs. UC-Davis).

Following the championship game, the 2018 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship All-Tournament Team was announced with Caryotakis taking Most Valuable Player accolades and University of Florida head coach Katie Larson claiming Coach of the Tournament:

2018 Women’s National Collegiate Club All-Tournament Team

Most Valuable Player: Sofia Caryotakis (University of California-Davis)
Coach of the Tournament: Katie Larson (University of Florida)
First Team School
Mary Campbell (Goalie) University of Florida
Diana Hatamian University of California-Davis
Sofia Caryotakis University of California-Davis
Maddie David California Polytechnic State University
Sydney Clark California Polytechnic State University
Megan Wolf The Ohio State University
Hannah Caskey University of California-San Diego
Second Team School
Sierra Sheeper (Goalie)
California Polytechnic State University
Claudia Macedo California Polytechnic State University
Stephanie Zwicker University of Florida
Kelly Martin University of Florida
Heather Clark Boston College
Hanna Muller Lindenwood University
Mary Elizabeth Ward University of Washington


  1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
No. 2 California Polytechnic State University 1 2 1 0 4
No. 1 University of California-Davis 0 1 2 2 5
UC Davis Goals: Sydney Preston (2); Dallyce Marglon; Hailey Jackson; Sofia Caryotakis;
Cal Poly Goals: Emily Milton; Claudia Macedo; Maddie David; Taylor Best
Saves: UC Davis – Kelley Cartwright (8, 16 minutes), Cassidy Crouch 1, 16 minutes) ; Cal Poly – Sierra Sheeper (8)
Exclusions: UC Davis – 8 ; Cal Poly – 7
Advantage Opportunities: UC Davis – 1-for-7 ; Cal Poly – 2-for-4
Sprints: UC Davis – 2-for-4 (3rd, 4th) ; Cal Poly – 2-for-4 (1st, 2nd)
Cards/Misconducts: None
Officials: Simone LePay, Gene Gill


2018 Women’s National Collegiate Club Champion: University of California-Davis


2018 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship Runner-Up: California Polytechnic State University


University of California-Davis’ Dominique Burciaga (#10) defends against California Polytechnic State University’s Maddie David (#16)


University of California-Davis’ Hailey Jackson (#3) tries for a field block on a shot by California Polytechnic State University’s Sanam Ghazvini (#9)

Collegiate Water Polo Association