La Verne, Calif. - Freshman Stephen Vint (El Cajon, Calif. - pictured) scored a season-high five goals as second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer cruised to a 14-7 win over seventh-seeded Whittier in the first round of the SCIAC Men's Water Polo Championship on Friday morning at La Verne.
With the win, the Sagehens improve to 11-18 on the season and 7-1 against SCIAC opponents and will move on to tomorrow's semifinals against the winner of the Redlands-Occidental quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m.
The Sagehens came close to breaking the game open in the first half before settling for a 6-3 lead at the break. After the Poets earned a five-meter goal just over a minute into the game, Pomona-Pitzer scored the next four goals and six of the next seven, including two from Vint and junior Jason Cox (Arnold, Md.).
Whittier was able to hang around, though, and pulled to within 6-3 when Cameron Rehm scored right at the buzzer to end the second quarter.
The Sagehens made sure that the momentum didn't carry over to the second half, as Vint scored two quick goals and Mark Hudnall (Los Altos, Calif.) added another to make the score 9-3 just 2:54 into the third quarter, and Whittier wasn't able to threaten the rest of the way.
Vint scored his fifth to start the fourth quarter in a man-up situation, before Pomona-Pitzer was able to empty its bench. Cox and Ryan Higgins (Orinda, Calif.) each had two goals for the Sagehens, while Chet Schuster and Rehm had two apiece for the Poets.
Looking ahead to the potential semifinal matchups, the Sagehens won a narrow 11-10 decision against Redlands at home that came down to the final possession, and pulled away from Occidental for a 16-8 road win.
0-1 Chet Schuster (WC) 6:44 - 5meter
1-1 Stephen Vint (PP) 5:12
2-1 Stephen Vint (PP) 4:08 - manup
3-1 Dylan O'Connell (PP) 2:57
4-1 Jason Cox (PP) 1:28
4-2 Michael Eachus (WC) 7:23 - manup
5-2 Jaron Moler (PP) 5:08
6-2 Jason Cox (PP) 2:23
6-3 Cameron Rehm (WC) 0:00
7-3 Stephen Vint (PP) 6:30 - manup
8-3 Stephen Vint (PP) 5:51
9-3 Mark Hudnall (PP) 5:06
9-4 Cameron Rehm (WC) 2:56
10-4 Ryan Higgins (PP) 1:48
11-4 Robert Chew (PP) 0:01
12-4 Stephen Vint (PP) 6:18 - manup
12-5 Kerry Schlactus (WC) 6:03
13-5 Clayton Hardman (PP) 5:44
14-5 Ryan Higgins (PP) 3:34
14-6 Chet Schuster (WC) 2:32 - manup
14-7 Erick Gonzalez (WC) 0:28