The Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team (4-12, 0-0 SCIAC) competed in an unusual pair of games this past week, winding up with a split. On Oct. 10 the team defeated Mercyhurst University with a score of 12-7 after creating a large first-half
lead, but lost to No. 15 Air Force Academy on Oct. 13 by a final score of 10-14. Travis Larsen
PO ’15 led the Hens with five goals over the two games.
Haldeman Pool saw packed stands for the Hens’ match against Mercyhurst, the Pennsylvania-based university. The Hens started the game by trading goals with the Lakers, and the score was 3-2 with a one-goal lead for the Sagehens after the
first quarter. In the second quarter, Mark Hallman PO ’18 netted two quick
goals and began a 4-0 run to put the Sagehens up 7-2.
“Against Mercyhurst we got off to a really quick start,
which I think was the key to our success,” Tommy Turner PO ’17 said.
“Once we are out ahead and comfortable, we usually perform well.”
The Sagehens had another 4-0 run in the third quarter, with James
Baker PO ’17, Larsen, Stephen Vint PZ ’15 and Neil Forsythe PO ’16 all adding
goals to put the game essentially out of reach for the Lakers. The game ended
12-7, with goalkeeper Ethan Prater-Fahey PO ’17 notching seven saves in the
first three quarters, and Daniel Diemer PZ ’18, who came into the cage in the
fourth quarter, finishing with three saves.
Air Force came to Haldeman Pool Oct. 13, with P-P looking to knock off another Top 20 team. The Hens started the match off well and led the game 8-6 in the second quarter.
However, P-P missed some critical opportunities later in the quarter when
the Air Force goalie blocked two Sagehen penalty shots, which would turn out to
be crucial later in the game.
Air Force went on a 5-0 run to take the
lead back at 11-8 late in the third quarter. Despite second-half goals from Turner and Vint, the Hens couldn’t overcome Air Force’s momentum and
lost the game 14-10.
“We played some good defense against Air Force but I
think we all got a little tired towards the end,” Turner said.
The Hens have SCIAC competition to look forward to starting
next week, as well as the much-anticipated return of Matt Alexander PO ’17.
Alexander, who began feeling signs of an inflamed appendix and had emergency
surgery to remove it just over three weeks ago, has been back in the water and
is hoping to play next weekend.
“I have been recovering really well, but I definitely
miss my appendix,” Alexander said.
One of the highlights of the season’s beginning has been the outstanding work done by the first-year class, which the Hens are looking to assist with and capitalize on in upcoming conference games. Many of
the team members have noted the first-years’ improvement from
preseason and their increasing contributions both in practice and in games.
“Our freshmen have
been doing really well and have improved a lot over the course of the season so
far, and it’s nice to have such a good view of them from the bench,”
Alexander said. “Mark [Hallman] and Bennett [Royce PZ ’18] have been playing solidly in the field
and Daniel [Diemer] has put up some great performances in goal for us.”
The Hens will start SCIAC competition Saturday, Oct. 18, in a home game against Occidental College.