Men's Water Polo: Sagehens Hang On 6-5 Win Over Stags

Men's Water Polo: Sagehens Hang On 6-5 Win Over Stags

CLAREMONT, CA. – It was a packed Saturday for the No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team as they dealt with two tough matchups, but they ended the night on a satisfying note as they bested cross-street rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match 6-5 before grinding through a close 10-6 loss to No. 8 Pepperdine University.

Season Impact: The victory gives Pomona-Pitzer an 8-1 record in SCIAC play and 17-10 overall as they remain in second place in the conference. The Stags are now 5-5 in the conference and 10-13 overall.

Pomona-Pitzer def. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6-5

The Sagehens came into the match hunting for a win in hopes of climbing closer to the top spot in the SCIAC while the Stags were battling to move into the top-four.

 Senior Daniel Diemer earned six saves and two steals at the post while Dylan Elliot and Adam Gross both had one goal and two steals. Robert Driscoll led the Stags with two goals and CJ Box led the match with four steals. Ethan Lewis made 13 saves for the Stags, but it was not enough to stop the Sagehens from taking the victory.

The match was a defensive showdown, as neither sides were willing to surrender easy goal-scoring opportunities. Adam Gross broke the deadlock early in the first period, just a minute and a half in, to give the Hens an early lead. With 3:20 remaining in the first, Driscoll tied it up before Peter Tilton gave the Stags the lead with 18 seconds left.

Second period was just as physical as the first with both teams earning two exclusions each. The Stags managed to add to their lead with 5:48 remaining in the half thanks to a power play goal from Zack Rossman. However, the Sagehens finally broke through with 4:13 lead when Riley Mangan scored on an unassisted goal to make it 3-2. After an exclusion called on Box, the Hens seized the power play opportunity as Elliot scored to tie the game 3-3.

The Stags regained the lead in the third period thanks to goals from Driscoll and Noah Deer, but with 2:08 left in the period, Mark Hallman managed to find the net for the Hens, putting the score at 5-4.

In the final period, the Sagehens tied it up just a minute in after Cade Curry converted an open look during a power play. With 6:27 remaining in the fourth, Adam Ward found the net to make it 6-5. As the clock winded down, the Sagehens did what they could to add an insurance goal while the Stags desperately looked to tie the game. The Sagehens ultimately prevailed at the final buzzer as the score remained.

No. 8 Pepperdine def. No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer 10-6

Following the hard-earned victory over CMS, the Sagehens looked recharged as they returned to Haldeman Pool to take on Division I opponent Pepperdine. Joseph Schafer had an impactful performance, scoring a goal, dishing three assists, and swiping two steals. Diemer had a strong game in the post, making key saves to maintain the Sagehens' lead during the first three periods. The Waves' offense was helped by Marko Asic and Chris Dilworth, who both had three goals. Mark Urban had a solid all-around showing for Pepperdine, scoring a goal, making two assists, and snatching three steals.

The Sagehens battled through to an early lead, catching the Waves' defense off-guard when Schafer found Ward for the opening goal more than a minute into the game. The Hens did an excellent job preventing the Waves from finding their passing lanes on offense and applying pressure on the ball carrier. As the Waves struggled to find an open look, the Sagehens took advantage of a power play after an exclusion on Mate Toth as Schafer found Gross for an open shot to make it 2-0. However, the Waves managed to break out of their funk and netted twice in the remainder of the first period.

Pepperdine took the lead to start the second period, thanks to a goal from George Mooney with 5:21 remaining, but Schafer tied it up after taking a pass from Zach Senator and ripping one from distance. With 58 seconds left, Senator found the net to give Pomona-Pttzer the lead, but 18 seconds later Asic quickly diffused it with a counter attack goal. With 16 seconds remaining, Cade Curry caught the Waves' defense sleeping and fired a quick one to give Pomona-Pitzer a 5-4 lead at the half.

Pomona-Pitzer added to it's lead in the third period with 6:15 remaining when Niskey scored off a power play thanks to a pass from Schafer. However, from then on the Waves managed to come back as Dilworth closed the period with two goals to tie the game.

The Waves continued to chip their way to victory in the fourth period as the Sagehens could not break through the Waves' defense. Pepperdine added four goals in the period to win the match 10-6.

Up Next: The Sagehens will host a doubleheader on Saturday, November 4, starting with  University of Redlands at 11 a.m. followed by a 4 p.m. match against Occidental College.