REDLANDS, CA. – The No. 20 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team fell to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara 13-8 and fell to No. 6 Long Beach State 13-8 in the annual Inland Empire Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Season Impact: With the losses, the Sagehens drop to 0-4 overall with all losses against top-10 ranked opponents.
The Gauchos were led by Ivan Gvozdanovic who had a game-high four goals in the win.
The Sagehens and Gauchos played a very even first period as they traded goals to go even at 3-3 with 3:41 left to go but Pomona-Pitzer would take their first lead of the game after Adam Gross found the back of the net off of a pass from Noah Sasaki to give the Sagehens a 4-3 lead at the end of the first.
UC Santa Barbara responded with two-straight goals to retake the lead but Adam Ward came back and scored three goals in a row for his first hat trick of the season as the Sagehens held a 7-5 lead with 2:54 to go until halftime. The Gauchos ended the half with two goals inside the final 25 seconds on back to back powerplay goal and stole the lead away from the Sagehens as the teams went into halftime tied at 7-7.
The second half was a different story as UC Santa Barbara's defense held Pomona-Pitzer scoreless in the third period as they tacked on two goal to lead 9-7 heading into the fourth. The Gauchos went on to net four more goals in the fourth as the Sagehens only found the back of the net once in the second half as they fell to UC Santa Barbara in game one of day one of the Inland Empire Classic.
Long Beach State
The 49ers were led by Mitchell Holden who had a game-high four goals and Austin Stewart chipped in with a three.
Long Beach State and Pomona-Pitzer came out and traded goals in the first as Riley Mangan and Joseph Schafer each scored goals for the Sagehens as they ended the first tied 2-2. The 49ers had a big second period as they outscored the Sagehens 4-2. Schafer notched his second goal of the day to give the Sagehens a 3-2 lead but the 49ers responded with four-straight goals before Schafer netted his third goal of the game as Pomona-Pitzer trailed 6-4 at the half.
Long Beach State opened the half with back to back goals before Jacob Niskey netted his first of the game to cut the lead to 8-5. The Sagehens scored three goals in the fourth from Niskey, Cade Curry and Keegan Coleman but the 49ers were able to hold off the Sagehens for the win.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next open up SCIAC play as they travel to Chapman on Saturday, September 16th at 11:00 a.m.