The Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team went back to its winning ways this week, picking up two key SCIAC victories to
bring its league record back above .500. On Saturday, Nov. 1, P-P came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the University of Redlands 9-7 at Haldeman Pool. The Hens traveled to
Pasadena on Wednesday, Nov. 5, to face the California Institute of Technology and dominated the Beavers in an easy 19-5 victory. Following their two wins, the Sagehens (7-14, 3-2 SCIAC) have just three
regular season games left.
As the Hens faced off against Redlands on Saturday, they were looking to earn a win against a rival that beat
them twice last year. The match also marked the Hens’ second-to-last home game which, due to scheduling conflicts, meant honoring the oldest members of the team at the annual Senior Day. Stephen Vint PZ ’15, Travis Larsen PO ’15, Kyle Van der Linde PZ ’15 and Austin Strong PZ ’15 were all acknowledged at the beginning of the game for their outstanding work and dedication to the team over the last four years.
The Senior Day game began with P-P and Redlands trading blows during the
entire first half of the match. After the Bulldogs scored a buzzer-beater in the first quarter, Tommy Turner PO ’17 came through with a goal early in the second quarter to tie the game. Again, Redlands scored shortly after to move ahead by a goal, but this time it was James Baker PO ’17 who sent in a rocket from six
meters out to knot the game at 3 points apiece.
Goalkeeper Ethan Prater-Fahey PO ’17 played a significant role for the Sagehens in the game, consistently denying Redlands
and keeping the game close. Baker and Vint added additional goals for the Hens in the third quarter, but the team went
into the final period down by a goal after the Bulldogs scored in a six-on-five situation.
However, Vint led a Sagehen surge in the fourth quarter, sending a beautiful shot into the back of
the net to break the tie and give P-P the all-important lead late in the game. Neil Forsythe PO ’16 added another goal for the Hens, and
Prater-Fahey blocked two more late shots to shut down the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter.
“We knew this game was going
to be close, and Redlands provided some great competition for us,” Forsythe
said. “We stayed strong the whole game, and I think we had a little more
energy going into the last quarter, which helped us come from behind. It was an
excellent, all-around effort from the team.”
Following the big win on Senior Day, the Hens traveled to Caltech on Wednesday night to take on the Beavers. P-P wasted no time out of the
gate and scored two quick goals to take the lead. After the Beavers put one
behind Prater-Fahey, Van der Linde scored for the Hens to maintain the two-goal lead. In the second quarter, the Hens kept their two-point lead for three
minutes, until Van der Linde scored his second goal of the game to begin a
huge run for the Hens. P-P went on to score five unanswered goals to end the first half and take a 10-4 lead.
The second half of the game was all Hen play. The Hens allowed just one goal from the Beavers and tacked on nine more goals of their own. Van der Linde scored two more goals in the second half to end with four on the night, which more than doubled his season goal total. Devon Kennedy
PZ ’16 netted his first three goals of the season, earning a hat
trick as the second leading scorer of the match. Bennett Royce PZ
’18, Phillip Clayman PO ’16, Larsen and Strong each scored two goals for the Hens.
Clayman, who has been out with a broken finger for the past two weeks, was able
to return to the water against Caltech and contribute to his team’s win.
“I’m glad to be back,”
Clayman said. “It was nice watching from the bench, but I like it better
in the water.”
On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Sagehens face off
against the University of La Verne for their final home match of the season. Last year, the Hens
beat La Verne in a tight match, with P-P holding off a late rally from the
Leopards. Currently, La Verne is 2-3 in SCIAC but is coming off a dominant win
against Occidental College on Wednesday night. Both La Verne and P-P will look to continue
their winning streaks at Haldeman Pool at 11 a.m. this Saturday.