Men's Water Polo: Stellar Defending Put Sagehens Past No. 16 CBU

Men's Water Polo: Stellar Defending Put Sagehens Past No. 16 CBU

CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team split their two contests in the second day of the Gary Troyer Tournament, falling to No. 7 Pepperdine 13-7 before bouncing back with an exceptional 10-7 victory over No. 16 Cal Baptist University. It was the program's first victory over CBU since September 21, 2013. 

Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 9-6 record overall. 

Pomona-Pitzer 7, No. 7 Pepperdine 13

The opening match did not go as the Sagehens had hoped as an early four-goal rally by the Waves set the tone for the rest of the match. Noah and Sam Sasaki each scored two goals while Riley Mangan had a goal and a steal. Balazs Kosa netted six for Pepperdine while Marko Asic added three.

Trailing 4-0 after the first period, the Sagehens netted their first goal less than a minute into the second period when Riley Mangan scored from the center of the 2-Meter box. Sam Sasaki scored more than a minute later to cut the lead 5-2, but Kosa brought the lead back up to four for the Waves a minute after. Noah Sasaki scored the last Sagehen goal of the half, but the Sagehens trailed 7-3 at halftime.

The Waves came out roaring in the third period with five straight goals, but Joseph Schafer countered with a goal with 19 seconds remaining in the period to cut the lead 12-4. The Sagehens' defense were stingy in the final period, holding the Waves to one goal while the Sasakis and Keegan Coleman found the net, but the Waves prevailed 13-7. 

Pomona-Pitzer 10, No. 16 Cal Baptist University 7

The Sagehens bounced back with a huge 10-7 victory over Cal Baptist University, showcasing an impressive defensive performance to limit a strong Lancers team. Noah Sasaki and Tony Murphy co-led with two goals each while Sam Sasaki sparked the offense with a goal and two assists. 

Kellen Grant had a standout performance between the pipes, finishing with 10 saves and a steal, while Adam Gross led the defense with three steals. 

Joseph Schafer opened up the scoring with 4:35 left in the first period, launching after an inside-out pass from Adam Gross. Noah Sasaki followed more than a minute later off a pass by Alex Peterson to make it 2-0. With 1:41 remaining, the Sagehens extended their lead off a long distance shot by Sam Gorcey-Biblowitz. Unfortunately, the Lancers usurped the Sagehens' first period shutout after a goal by PJ McDonough.

The Sagehens continued to build a bigger lead, with Sam Sasaki scoring from outside to make it 4-1. He later assisted Dylan Elliott with 6:20 remaining in the half to extend the score 5-1. Later with 4:25 remaining, Sam found his brother Ben Sasaki at the right side of the net who then fired one past the keeper to extend the lead 6-1. After the Lancers took one back, Peterson maintained the five-goal advantage after scoring off a pass by Keegan Coleman. However, the Lancers took one back at the buzzer to trail 7-3 at the half.

CBU attempted a comeback, scoring twice at the start of the third period. However, the Sagehens took advantage of a power play as Adam Gross scored a skip shot off a pass by Gorcey-Biblowitz. Noah Sasaki extended the lead on a powerplay, scoring in transition after a well-placed pass by Gorcey-Biblowitz. The Lancers scored with three seconds remaining to cut the lead 9-6.

Tony Murphy opened the final period in dramatic fashion, hitting a buzzer-beater on the shot clock in the first minute. It was all the Sagehens needed to hold off the Lancers as the defense limited them to only one goal for the remainder of the game. 

Up Next: The Sagehens will host cross-street rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday night on October 9 at 7:00 p.m.