Seniors Come Up Big As Sagehens Win Overtime Thriller

Seniors Come Up Big As Sagehens Win Overtime Thriller

Orange, Calif. - Senior Jarrod Gaut scored the tying goal with just 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime, and senior Ryan Higgins (pictured) scored the winner in sudden death as the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team won a thrilling 11-10 match over host Chapman in the quarterfinals of the 2013 SCIAC Tournament on Friday evening. 

With the win, the Sagehens improve to 10-21 overall and 6-3 in the SCIAC and advance to tomorrow's semifinals against top-seeded Whittier at 4 p.m. Chapman falls to 8-10 overall and 5-4 in the SCIAC and will meet Occidental in the consolation bracket. 

Pomona-Pitzer led 8-7 late in the third on a goal from James Baker, but Chapman held the Sagehens scoreless through the rest of regulation and the first overtime, tying the score with 6:46 left in the fourth quarter. Goalies Ian Decker of Chapman (17 saves) and Caleb Prater-Fahey of Pomona-Pitzer (20 saves) stood tall down the stretch to prevent either team from taking the lead. 

Chapman finally broke through in the second overtime with goals from James Vigeant and Mark Alvarado to seemingly take command with a 10-8 lead and only 1:46 remaining. Sophomore Phillip Clayman responded with a key goal to get the lead down to 10-9, and after Decker had a big save to preserve the one-goal lead, the Sagehens got the ball back with one final chance to keep their championship hopes alive and Gaut came through with just 0.2 showing on the clock to prolong the game. 

Both teams missed high on their first possessions of sudden death overtime, and the Sagehens were able to force a turnover and then drew an ejection with 1:21 left. Pomona-Pitzer was unable to score with the man advantage, but maintained possession, and Higgins buried a shot for his third goal of the game to give Pomona-Pitzer the thrilling 11-10 victory. 

Higgins led the way with three goals, while Gaut, Clayman, Baker and junior Stephen Vint each had two. The 20 saves for Prater-Fahey were a season high for the Sagehens this year, as they defeated Chapman in overtime for the second time (the first was 14-13 at Haldeman Pool).