Redlands, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team had a wildly successful showing at the Inland Empire Classic on Sunday afternoon, winning two matches, including a history 11-10 victory over No. 10 UC Irvine, before ending the day with a 21-9 loss to Pepperdine.
Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 3-3 overall in the regular season.
No. 19 Pomona-PItzer def. No. 10 UC Irvine 11-10 (OT)
The Sagehens edged out Division I UC Irvine in a tenacious overtime thriller, going on a huge fourth period comeback for the opportunity to win the match. It was the team's second win over the Anteaters in program history, the first coming in 2016 in an 8-7 overtime victory.
Joseph Schafer led the Hens with three goals while freshman Sam Sasaki had a goal and team-high three assists. On the defensive end, goalie James Kelbert had 14 saves and two steals to hold off a tough Anteater side.
The Sagehens opened up scoring in the first period as Sasaki found Adam Ward on the power play for the 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, the Hens doubled as Sasaki assisted Schafer to make it 2-0. With 2:05 left in the period, the Anteaters took one back off a goal by John Polos.
The Anteaters surged in the second period, scoring four straight goals and shutting out the Hens' offense for a 5-2 lead.
Trailing 7-3 in the third period, the Sagehens took two back off a power play goal by Dylan Elliott and goal by Sam Gorcey-Biblowitz. The two sides traded goals, but the Hens couldn't close in for the remainder of the third period.
With 1:17 left in the final period and the Hens trailing 10-7, Pomona-Pitzer unleashed an incredible rally, scoring three straight goals, including a buzzer-beater by Adam Ward to send the game to overtime.
Six seconds remaining in the extra period, the Anteaters committed a costly foul in the five-meter box, giving Pomona-Pitzer the penalty. Schafer came up clutch, scoring the penalty shot to seal the historic victory for the Sagehens.
No. 19 Pomona-Pitzer def. Riverside City College 14-5
Following an exhausting victory over the Anteaters, the Hens maintained their momentum heading into the second game of the tournament with lopsided 14-5 win over the Riverside City College Tigers. Sam Gorcey-Biblowitz, Tony Murphy, and Joseph Schafer scored two goals each while Jack Mallory and Dylan Elliott led the defense with three steals each.
Tied 1-1 in the first period, Schafer gave the Hens back the lead with a power play goal, followed by a goal by Jacob Niskey. With 5:01 left in the second period, the Hens sparked a 5-0 run to take an 8-2 lead.
The Sagehens did not slow down in the second half of the game, scoring four goals in the fourth period, including two by Murphy, putting the match out of reach for the Tigers.
No. 8 Pepperdine def. No.19 Pomona-Pitzer 21-9
The Sagehens' offense finally hit the brakes in the final game of the Inland Empire Classic falling to Division I program Pepperdine 21-9. Despite a hat trick from Cade Curry, the Sagehens could not find enough offense to keep up with the Waves.
The Waves got off to a hot start in the first period, scoring six straight goals while shutting the Hens out. Jacob Niskey finally got the Hens opening goal in the second period with 6:00 remaining, but Pepperdine continued to find the back of the net. Pepperdine led 10-2 at the half.
The two teams exchanged goals throughout the third period, and the Hens later managed to score two consecutive goals in the final period thanks to Sam Sasaki and Curry. However, the deficit was too much to overcome as Pepperdine sealed the victory.
Up Next: The Sagehens will kick off SCIAC play as they head to Los Angeles to face Occidental College on Wednesday, September 19 at 4:00 p.m.