Sagehens Earn First Two Wins At Lancer Invite

Sagehens Earn First Two Wins At Lancer Invite

Riverside, Calif. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team picked up its first two wins of the season on Saturday at the Lancer Invite, coming back to defeat host Cal Baptist 11-9 and then adding a 17-6 non-league win over SCIAC rival Occidental.

With the wins, the Sagehens improve to 2-6 on the year after dropping their first six games to nationally ranked teams (five of which were in the top 10). Cal Baptist falls to 2-5 with the loss, while Occidental slips to 0-8.

In the first game of the day, the Sagehens trailed for most of the first three quarters, but used a 5-0 run to turn an 8-6 deficit into an 11-8 lead and held on for an 11-9 win over host Cal Baptist.

Senior Ryan Higgins (pictured, photo by Becky Gaut) and freshman James Baker led the way with three goals each for the Sagehens, while sophomore Phillip Clayman added two. Junior Austin Strong had six saves in the first half, and Tyler Hill added five in the second half.

Pomona-Pitzer trailed 4-1 early in the second quarter, but came back to tie the score just before the half, as senior Dylan O'Connell scored with 36 seconds on the clock to level the score at 5-5. The Lancers went back in front 8-6 midway through the third quarter, but Clayman started the pivotal 5-0 run with a goal at the 4:51 mark, and then gave Pomona-Pitzer its first lead at 9-8 with a goal with eight seconds left in the third quarter.

Higgins then extended the lead to 10-8 at the 4:11 mark of the fourth quarter, and Baker added an insurance goal with 3:30 to play to cap off the 5-0 run. Cal Baptist scored once to pull within 11-9, but could get no closer as the Sagehens held on for their first win.

The second match was never in doubt, as Pomona-Pitzer stormed out to a 9-3 halftime lead and cruised to a 17-6 win over Occidental. Baker led the Sagehens with four goals, all in the first half, while fellow freshman Matt Alexander added three, and Clayman, senior Jarrod Gaut, junior Travis Larsen and freshman Nic Lanker tallied two apiece.  

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action next weekend when it travels to Colorado to compete in Air Force's Tournament.