CAMBRIDGE, MA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team closed the Harvard Invitational with a 3-1 record, taking down No. 15 Brown University 7-6 followed by an 8-7 victory over Massachussetts Institute of Technology.
Season Impact: With the two wins on Sunday, the Sagehens are 13-9 overall this season.
Pomona-Pitzer def. No. 15 Brown 7-6
The final day of the Harvard Invitational got off to a thrilling start as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team secured a 7-6 victory over No. 15 Brown University on Sunday morning. In a tightly contested battle against a Division I Ivy League program, the Sagehens held their ground on the defensive end, allowing only six goals on 31 shot attempts while Daniel Diemer recorded an astounding 16 saves. The Hens did not allow a single goal in the Bears' 11 power play opportunities.
The Hens disrupted the Browns' rhythm on the offensive end, creating early turnovers and contesting shots to shut out the Bears in the first period. Ward put the Hens on the board first thanks to an assist by Cade Curry. Later after Brown's Spencer Carroll earned an exclusion with 3:05 left in the period, Adam Gross took advantage of the power play and scored off a pass from Schafer to double the Hens lead 2-0.
The Bears finally earned their first goal more than three minutes into the second period, courtesy of Austin Hwang. After Hwang's goal, Diemer did his best to hold off the Bears' offense, seeing them miss the next six shot attempts while he saved four of them. With 36 seconds remaining in the half, Mark Hallman found the net thanks to a pass from Gross to extend the Hens' lead 3-1.
Jacob Niskey added to the Hens' lead more than two minutes into the third period thanks to a pass from Zach Senator, but the Bears responded with two straight goals to cut the deficit 4-3. With 45 seconds remaining, Riley Mangan brought the lead back to two, making it 5-3.
Ward opened the scoring in the final period with 6:20 remaining. With 5:20 left in the match, the Bears started to close in on the Sagehens and went on a 3-0 run that spanned less than three minutes to tie the game at six apiece. However, with 1:06 left, Keegan Coleman scored an unassisted goal to take the lead. After a timeout taken by Brown, the Bears tried to send the game to overtime, finding several close shots. Diemer played the hero, shutting down all three of the Bears' final shot attempts as the clock winded down as the Hens held on for the close victory.
Pomona-Pitzer def. MIT 8-7
The Sagehens followed up with another close victory, defeating Massachusetts Institute of Technology 8-7 on Sunday afternoon.
Diemer continued his string of strong performances in front of the cage with 13 saves. Schafer led the Hens with three goals and two steals while Adam Ward had two goals. Gross added two assists.
Two minutes into the opening period, the Engineers scored first. Clyde Huibregtse was handed an exclusion with four minutes left in the period and Schafer took advantage with power play goal to tie the game. However, Huibregtse made up for the power play by scoring with 22 seconds left to give MIT a 2-1 lead.
Eliott scored first in the second period off a pass from Sam Gorcey-Biblowitz to tie the game with 6:43 remaining. Huibregtse scored three and a half minutes later to take back the lead for MIT, but Ward managed to tie the game with 32 seconds left in the half.
Schafer broke the tie more than two minutes into the third period off a pass from Gross and Max Ries added to the lead 40 seconds later to make it 5-3 lead. The Sagehens looked to extend the lead, but the Engineers stopped the rally and broke out for a 3-0 run to take back the lead and close the third period with a 6-5 lead.
The Sagehens' offense seized the game back from the Engineers, breaking out on a 3-0 run. Ward scored 50 seconds in the final period and Schafer took advantage of a power play to take the lead. Noah Sasaki capped the run with a goal off an assist from Ries to make it 8-6. The Engineers made a push to take the game back as Huibregtse scored off a power play with 1:08 left to cut the deficit to one. Pomona-Pitzer did not allow the Engineers to take another shot until the final seconds, sealing the game 8-7.
Up Next: The Sagehens will hit the road and play in a doubleheader, taking on Cal Lutheran at 4:00 p.m. and Caltech at 7:00 p.m.