P-P Water Polo Dominates in SCIAC Opener

After two months of facing some of the top
competition in the nation, the Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team
was finally able to face some more familiar competition in its SCIAC opener.
The Sagehens competed against Occidental College at home in Haldeman Pool on Saturday, Oct. 18 and had no
trouble taming the Tigers, claiming a 17-5 victory. 

Neil Forsythe PO ’16 and
Phillip Clayman PO ’16 led the Sagehens (5-12, 1-0 SCIAC) with three goals apiece, and 10 players scored a goal in the team’s most powerful offensive showing of the
year.

P-P exchanged goals with Occidental in the first minute but
soon took control of the game. Following an early goal scored by attacker James Baker PO ’17, Stephen Vint PZ ’15, Clayman, Timmy Hardman PO ’17 and Nic Lanker PO ’17 all
found the back of the net in the first quarter, starting an 11-0 Sagehen run to begin the match. The Hens continued their offensive dominance in the second quarter with goals scored by Hardman, Vint, Clayman and
Forsythe. The P-P defense also came to play as goalkeeper Ethan Prater-Fahey PO ’17 shut the Tigers out in the second quarter during the Hens’ run.

“Once we got on a run in the first quarter, I think our
team’s confidence really boosted,” Mark Hallman PO ’18 said. “We were
excited to face our first SCIAC rival of the year, so we came out strong and
with a lot of energy. It felt like a big game.”

The third quarter began with Baker scoring his second goal
of the match. After that, Travis Larsen PO ’15 scored his first goal of the
game, and Clayman capped off the Hen’s run with his third goal of the match.
Occidental scored the last two goals of the period, but the 12-2 deficit was
far too large for the Tigers to come back. Bennett Royce PZ ’18, Austin Strong
PZ ’15 and Kyle Van der Linde PZ ’15 all tallied goals in the final quarter
for the Sagehens, who cruised to an easy 17-5 victory.

“Our offense did an excellent job of distributing the
ball and using all of our players to score goals,” Tommy Turner PO ’17
said.

Indeed, the game’s 10 different scorers is the
largest number of players who have scored in one match for P-P this year. The total of 17
goals was also a season high for the Hens.

The next match for the Sagehens is Saturday, Oct. 25, against Chapman University, which has enjoyed a nine-game winning streak this season. The Hens and Panthers met twice last year, and both games
went wire-to-wire as each required overtime to decide the final outcome. The first
match was during the regular season and was taken by P-P in a period of extra time. Their second
meeting was in the first game of the SCIAC tournament, and the Hens were again victorious but only after the game went into an intense sudden death overtime.

“Chapman is going to be a good game, and the team is
excited,” Turner said. “Based off of the Occidental game, our team
knows we can score goals, so it will be important to concentrate on defense
during the game. We also need to focus on taking advantage of all of our
opportunities, especially our 6-on-5 chances.”

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