Men’s water polo defeats Caltech
Posted Nov. 2, 2007
Courtney Droke
In the second period, La Verne’s Sean Steele passes the ball to Gerald Bolson to keep Caltech’s Paul Fleiner from scoring at the La Verne Aquatics Center. The Leopards beat Caltech, 14-4, Saturday afternoon along with winning their first SCIAC of the season. La Verne is scheduled to play Cal Lutheran Saturday before playing their last home game on Sunday against Air Force.

Jonathan Smith
Staff Writer

Despite concerns about air quality in Southern California, the La Verne men’s water polo team resumed competition with a rout over the Caltech Beavers on Saturday and heartbreaking losses to Occidental and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

The games came within days after postponing the Occidental game, slated for Oct. 24, to Monday due to the poor air quality caused by the California wildfires.

On Saturday sophomore utility Jamie Beltran scored the first goal for the Leopards after trailing 1-0.

The Beavers brought the score to 3-2 after a goal by Beaver freshman Paul Fleiner.

But the Leopards scored seven unanswered goals to bring the score to 10-2 at the end of the half.

“We did good against Caltech,” senior two meter Duncan Cox said.

The win is the first for the Leopards in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Confer­ence play.

“We played hard and it paid off,” freshman driver Kevin Moore said.

“I thought we used it as a good practice,” Beltran said. “It’s a good time for us to see how we perform plays.”

The Leopards came out strong in the third period and extended their lead to 12-2 with a pair of goals.

The Beavers were able to cut the deficit lower by scoring two more goals, but the Beavers could not play catch-up as the Leopards were able to defend their lead.

Junior utility Julian Czerwiec was the leading scorer for the Leopards, with four goals in the game.

Junior two-meter Vince Makuch and senior utility Seth Shelton also proved to be big factors scoring three goals apiece.

Against the Occidental Tigers (12-10 overall, 3-2 SCIAC), the Leopards sought to increase their win total to five.

But their efforts came up short as the Leopards were not able to capitalize on a 10-9 score after halftime, losing in the end, 21-14.

“It was a tough loss, but overall we played as a team,” junior utility Hector Rodriguez said.

On Wednesday the Leopards sought another chance to improve their season record against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags (9-13 overall, 4-2 SCIAC).

But the Leopards were not able to catch up and lost the game, 10-7.

Three Stag players registered in the score sheet with two goals in the game.

Czerwiec and Mukuch were the leading scorers for the Leopards against the Stags, scoring two goals each during the game.

Anthony Hernandez, Mak­uch, Shelton and Cox each had one goal.

Still the Leopards are seeking more than just wins as they conclude SCIAC play with their game in Thousand Oaks against Cal Lutheran tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Following the matchup against Cal Lutheran, the Leopards will play their last home game of the regular season against Air Force on Sunday at 9 a.m.

The Leopards (5-15 overall, 1-4 SCIAC) are hoping to finish the season on a high note, before heading into the SCIAC Tournament on Nov. 9 at Redlands.

“We need to focus more on the fundamentals and team bonding,” Rodriguez said.

“We need to win at all costs,” Cox said.

Following the conclusion of season, the Leopards will still have a young roster going into next season.

There are only three seniors on the team this season and the young squad hopes to improve its mark next year with the experience earned by this year’s team.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at jsmith11@ulv.edu.


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