CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team managed to stay undefeated in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Saturday afternoon after a close 15-10 victory over Whittier College at Haldeman Pool. Prior to the match, the Sagehens honored senior Adam Ward for his contributions to the program. After the game, Ward showed why he has been an integral member of the team, scoring a team-high four goals and collecting one steal. It was a tough and chippy affair as both teams played with physical intensity, but a late surge in the third period by the Sagehens led to certain victory.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 20-8 record overall and boast a 12-0 record in the SCIAC while remaining comfortably in first.
Joseph Schafer opened the scoring in the first period, taking advantage of a power play just 44 seconds into the match. Carlos Heredia Viteri of Whittier responded with two goals to put the Poets ahead 2-1 with 4:41 left in the opening period. From that point, neither sides were able to string a significant run as the Sagehens' offense were caught in turnover trouble by the Poets' defense while the Poets' offense couldn't find an open look against the Sagehens. With the scores tied at three apiece and the clock winding down, the Poets managed to get the go-ahead goal with three seconds left in the first period.
Dylan Elliott tied the game up just 40 seconds into the second period, but the Sagehens still struggled to find their rhythm. Pomona-Pitzer had trouble navigating through the Poets' swarming defense in the offensive third of the pool, but thankfully the defense was holding it down. With 5:12 left in the half, Ricardo Reyes Jr. of Whittier took back the lead. After pressing on the offensive end, the Sagehens finally tied it again thanks to a goal by Ben Sasaki off a pass from his twin brother Sam. They entered halftime tied 5-5.
Tied 6-6 in the third period, Ward came through with a big go-ahead goal in the box off a lob pass by Adam Gross. After the Poets scored two straight, Schafer came through with a long distance goal to tie it again 8-8. With the scores tied at nine apiece, Sam Sasaki took advantage of a power play to put the Sagehens ahead 9-8. With less than a minute in the third period, Ward took a hard shot from the outside to make it 10-8.
Ward opened the scoring in the final period off a pass from Ben with 4:42 left in the game. After Whittier scored on with 4:05 remaining, Elliott put the game away with two more goals to extend the lead 14-10. Sam Gorcey-Biblowitz scored the final goal of the match off a penalty with 1:07 remaining.
Up Next: The Sagehens will travel to Caltech on Wednesday, November 7 to take on the Beavers at 7:00 p.m.