Playing under an ominous, cloudy afternoon sky, the Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Water Polo team fell 15-4 in their home opener against the UC San Diego Tritons at the Haldeman Pool this past Saturday.
Bad luck and a talented #12 ranked UCSD team contributed to a tough afternoon against a team the Sagehens lost to by only four points last year.
Keeping it close early on, the team held the Tritons to only three goals in the first quarter before falling into a 7-0 hole in the second quarter. Stephen Vint PZ ’15 and Jason Coz PZ ’13 put in goals for the Sagehens, but the Tritons answered with two goals of their own, carrying a 9-2 lead into the half.
The Sagehens didn’t fare much better in the second half of the game, with the Tritons blanking the team 3-0 in the third quarter. Vint and fellow freshman Clayton Hardman PO ’15 scored in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t even close to enough for the Sagehens, who had six shots hit the crossbar over the entire game.
“I think we’re a work in progress,” said Head Coach Alex Rodriguez.
Even with the majority of the team returning from last year, the Sagehens went into the game with only two weeks’ worth of practice, compared to the Tritons’ month.
The Sagehens stumbled through the rest of the weekend as well, suffering consecutive defeats to UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and Concordia, and dropping to 0-6 on the season.
With freshmen scoring three out of four goals in the UCSD game, Rodriguez is optimistic about the team’s ability to battle through its early struggles. “We’re better than last year’s team,” he said. “We’ll be able to give them a better game next time.”
The Sagehens face off against Cal Baptist at 1:00 p.m. and Navy at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Haldeman Pool.