WHITTIER, CA. – The No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team showed their grit and tenacity on Wednesday night, coming back from a 4-1 deficit to edge out Whittier College 7-5. Adam Ward and Sam Sasaki scored a pair of goals each while Riley Mangan and Zach Senator each had two steals. James Kelbert had a standout performance, collecting 11 saves to keep the Sagehens afloat for majority of the match. With their backs against the wall in the final period, losing 5-3, the Sagehens scored four straight goals to close out the match with a much-needed victory.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 7-3 record overall and are still undefeated in the SCIAC with a 4-0 record.
The first period got off to a promising start for the Sagehens as Ward found the net after the first minute. However, the Poets took the lead as Marc-Andre Roy scored twenty seconds later to tie the game and Nick Hyden took the lead with 4:12 remaining in the opening period. Keegan Coleman almost tied it towards the end of the first period, but his shot bounced off the post as the Poets held their 2-1 lead.
Following a scoreless second period, the Poets tacked two more goals in the third period thanks to Roy. With 4:39 remaining in the third, Ward cut the lead in half. A minute later, Joseph Schafer brought the Sagehens within one. However, Eric Borunda extended the lead 5-3 for the Poets with a minute remaining in the third period.
Zach Senator sparked a rally in the fourth period, scoring less than two minutes in to cut the lead 5-4.With 5:19 remaining, the Poets almost pulled the match out of reach when the Sagehens were dealt an exclusion. Borunda had two power play shot opportunities, but his attempts were blocked by the defense and again by goalkeeper James Kelbert. Cade Curry tied the match with 4:36 remaining and 20 seconds later, Sam Sasaki gave Pomona-Pitzer their first lead of the match. The Sagehens looked to hang on as Kelbert made a clutch save on a shot by Paul Pittion. They caught a break with 2:35 left in the game when Poets' Carlos Heredia Viteri committed a penalty foul. Sasaki took the 5-meter penalty and converted it to extend the lead. The Sagehens held on for a 7-5 victory to keep their undefeated SCIAC record intact.
Up Next: The Sagehens will return home on Friday, October 5 to host the Gary Troyer Tournament where they will host Johns Hopkins at 1:40 p.m. and Navy at 7:00 p.m.