STANFORD, CA. – The No. 15 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team fell in the opening game of the Mountain Pacific Invitational to No. 5 UC Santa Barbara 12-7 on Friday afternoon at Balardi Pool.
Season Impact: with the loss, the Sagehens fall to 12-5 overall and remain at 6-0 in SCIAC play.
The Sagehens were led by Sam Sasaki who notched his third hat-trick of the season with three goals in the loss.
A gritty loss for the Sagehens against a very good Santa Barbara team in the opening game of the MPSF Invitational. The Gauchos started out with a goal to open up the game but the Sagehens immediately responded with a goal from Sasaki to even the score at 1-1. The Sagehen defense had a solid performance in the first period and limited UCSB to just two goal to trail 2-1 heading into the second.
The offense struggled to close the gap in the second as Pomona-Pitzer failed to find the back of the net in the period. The Gauchos went on to extend their lead with three more goals to take a 5-1 lead heading into halftime.
After a few halftime adjustments, the Sagehens began clicking on offense. Pomona-Pitzer outscored UCSB 5-4 in the third and opened up the period with five of the first seven goals with Sasaki netting two more, Adam Ward with two and Joseph Schafer with one to cut the lead down to just one goal at 7-6 with two minutes remaining in the third. UCSB added two more goals before the end of the third and held a 9-6 lead going into the fourth.
The Sagehens defense couldn't hold off the Gauchos long enough to complete the comeback in the fourth after UCSB added two quick goals to start the fourth to take an 11-6 lead. Pomona-Pitzer tried to rally late but fell short in game one of the MPSF Invitational.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next take on Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 9:20 a.m. at Belardi Pool.