PALO ALTO, CA. – On the final day of the 2018 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team reigned victorious over Division I San Jose State University as the Sagehens beat the Spartans 11-9. It was the third time this season the Sagehens defeated a Division I program after victories against UC Irvine and Naval Academy earlier this season. The match was a very physical and gritty contest as both teams drew 12 exclusions each. Dylan Elliott broke out with a huge scoring performance, netting a team-high five goals and snatching four steals. Cade Curry also helped spark the offense with one goal and four assists.
Season Impact: The victory improves the Sagehens' overall record to 13-7.
The Spartans opened up the scoring in the first period more than a minute into the match when Justin Pickering took advantage of the power play. Keegan Coleman returned the favor 30 seconds later when a Spartan exclusion gave him a power play goal to tie the game. Trailing 3-2 with 3:29 left in the first period, Pomona-Pitzer broke out on a run thanks to Elliott as he scored the next two goals. With 58 seconds remaining, Ben Sasaki scored off a pass by Cade Curry to extend the lead 5-3 at the end of the opening period.
After cutting the deficit to one in the start of the second period, the Spartans desperately looked for the game-tying goal. However, an exclusion within the 5-meter box by San Jose's Ashley Castle gave Joseph Schafer the opportunity to score on the penalty. Schafer converted to keep the Sagehens ahead 6-4. Castle later made up for his mistake with a power play goal with 2:31 left in the half, but Elliott responded once again in the final minutes with two goals off passes by Curry to help the Sagehens to an 8-6 lead at halftime.
San Jose State made adjustments in the third period, shutting out the Sagehens and keeping them scoreless while the Spartans managed to score twice to tie the game. In the fourth period, Niels Hofmeijer finally put the Spartans ahead with 5:24 left in the game. The Sagehens desperately looked for an opportunity to retake the momentum in the final minutes of the match, and they found good fortune after the Spartans' Cristian Tanase earned an exclusion with 5:05 left on the clock. Joseph Schafer took advantage of the power play and found an open Sam Sasaki who converted his shot to tie the game. Later with 2:15 remaining, Elliott came through in the clutch by scoring on a power play to make it 10-9. With 58 seconds left in the match, Curry scored the dagger off a pass by Sam Sasaki to seal the game.
Up Next: The Sagehens will resume SCIAC play this Saturday as they host Occidental College on October 20 at 11 a.m.