UC San Diego Spoils Men's Water Polo's Home Opener

UC San Diego Spoils Men's Water Polo's Home Opener

Claremont, Calif. - Graham Saber had seven goals, including four straight in the first half to break the match open, as the 12th ranked UC San Diego Men's Water Polo team earned a 15-4 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday afternoon at Haldeman Pool in the Sagehens' home opener. 

Freshman Stephen Vint (El Cajon, Calif.) led Pomona-Pitzer with two goals and an assist as it fell to 0-3 on the season, with all three losses coming to teams ranked in the top 12 in the country. 

The first period began as a defensive struggle, as Pomona-Pitzer had a bit of bad luck when senior attack Jaron Moler (Carmichael, Calif.) hit the crossbar twice on the same possession. UC San Diego's Josh Stiling broke the tie on a penalty shot with 3:04 left in the first, and Saber scored twice in the final minute of the quarter from the same angle to the left of the net, the last one coming with just 10 seconds on the clock to make the score 3-0.  

Saber continued his personal run in the second quarter as he scored two goals 37 seconds apart to stretch the Tritons' lead to 5-0. Matthew Michalko and John Butler added goals to make the score 7-0, before the Sagehens were able to break the ice. Vint scored off a pass from Cody Moore (San Dimas, Calif.) at the 4:00 mark in a man-up situation, and junior Jason Cox (Arnold, Md.) scored on a fast break off a pass from sophomore Ryan Higgins (Orinda, Calif.) to pull the Sagehens within 7-2. 

Michalko, though, scored his second goal of the game to stop the Pomona-Pitzer run, and Saber followed with his fifth of the game to give UC San Diego a 9-2 lead heading into the halftime break. The Tritons outscoured the Sagehens 3-0 in the third quarter, as Saber scored his sixth of the contest right at the buzzer, while Pomona-Pitzer hit the crossbar three times during the period. 

Vint scored his second goal with 7:12 left in the game, then fed freshman Clayton Hardman (Old Greenwich, Conn.), who scored his first collegiate goal in impressive fashion. Hardman took Vint's pass five yards from goal, and with his back turned, blindly flipped the ball over his shoulder straight into the upper-right corner. Moore also hit the crossbar in the fourth quarter, the sixth time in the match that Pomona-Pitzer hit the woodwork.

Kyle Pokorny (Coronado, Calif.) had six saves in net for the Sagehens in the first half, while Tyler Hill (Lafayette, Calif.) added five in the second half. Nick Michels had nine saves for the Tritons to pick up the win. 

Pomona-Pitzer will be in action the rest of this weekend at the Inland Empire Tournament at the University of La Verne.