Sagehens Fall To Chapman In SCIAC Tournament

Sagehens Fall To Chapman In SCIAC Tournament

Redlands, Calif. - The Chapman Men's Water Polo team outscored Pomona-Pitzer 4-0 in the fourth quarter to break open a tight defensive battle and take a 9-4 win over the Sagehens in the opening round of the SCIAC Tournament on Friday.

The loss drops Pomona-Pitzer to 8-17 overall and 4-5 in the SCIAC on the year. The Sagehens will next play in the consolation rounds on Saturday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the morning contest between Caltech and La Verne. Chapman (16-9, 7-2 SCIAC) advances to tomorrow's semifinals to take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a 15-12 winner over La Verne. 

Chapman received a spectacular performance from goalie Stephen Neil with 19 saves (one off the school record), but it was still a tight game heading into the final stanza. A year ago, the Sagehens defeated Chapman in the opening round of the SCIAC Tournament in sudden death overtime, after tying the score at the end of the first overtime session with just 0.2 seconds left. 

It looked like there might be similar drama this year, as the teams were tied 1-1 after one quarter, before Chapman held narrow leads at the half (5-3) and after three quarters (5-4) after the second goal from junior Neil Forsythe (pictured). However, Mark Alvarado scored twice in the fourth, sandwiched around a goal from Dor Appfel, to stretch the lead to 8-4 with 2:28 left and put it away. 

Junior Phillip Clayman gave the Sagehens a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, before Chapman scored the next three goals. Back-to-back tallies from Forsythe and senior Travis Larsen evened the score back up, but Chase Middlesworth and Alvarado both scored in the final minute of the half to put the Panthers ahead 5-3 heading into the break. 

Middlesworth and Alvarado each had three goals for Chapman. Ethan Caleb Prater-Fahey finished with 10 saves for the Sagehens in the loss.