Leos held back by Sagehens,

Posted Nov. 10, 2006
Rhiannon Mim

La Verne’s Anthony Hernandez struggles against Pomona-Pitzer’s Mike Mueting to gain possession of the ball in Leopard territory. Although La Verne goalie Christian Padilla managed to make 10 saves, the Leopards were not able to hold back the Sagehens, who scored six goals in the first half. The Leopards went on to score six goals of their own in the second half, but came up short, 14-8, in Saturday’s match. It was the last regular season match for the Leopards, who finished 10-11 overall and 2-5 in SCIAC.

The men’s water polo team, currently ranked seventh nationally in Division III, took on the No. 2 ranked Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens on Saturday in the last regular season game for the Leopards.

Despite scoring the opening goal of the game, the Sagehens would be too much for La Verne, winning 14-8.

With just the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament and the Western Water Polo Association tournament remaining, this is when the Leopards need to be playing their best polo of the season.

“We know we can play with anyone,” junior utility Seth Shelton said. “We didn’t capitalize on our man-up opportunities and that really hurt us.”

The Leopards took the early lead, 1-0, when sophomore utility Sean Steele got the scoring started with 3:48 left in the first quarter. Steele would finish the game with three goals.

However, the Sagehens came right back with two goals of their own, both from senior driver Glenn Anderson.

The first quarter would end with Pomona-Pitzer leading 2-1.

The second quarter would have a little more offense. Pomona-Pitzer would extend the lead to 4-1 before senior utility Ricardo Negron would add the first of his three goals.

Junior utility Field Garthwaite and junior two-meter man David Mock would each add one of their three goals of the day to extend Pomona-Pitzer’s lead to 6-2.

“I thought that once we got the lead, we started to play a little sloppy,” Pomona-Pitzer head coach Alex Rodriguez said.

La Verne junior Anthony Hernandez would add an interesting goal just before halftime to bring the Leopards within three at 6-3.

Hernandez’s shot would hit the crossbar and bounce out before deflecting off the back of the goalie’s head and landing in the goal.

The third quarter was all offense with a total of 10 goals being scored by the two teams.

Pomona-Pitzer would get the scoring started with two more goals to increase their lead to 8-3.

Negron would respond for the Leopards, scoring two of his goals, one of which was on a breakaway to bring the Leopards back to within three at 8-5. This would be as close as the Leopards would get, the third quarter would end with Pomona -Pitzer leading, 12-7.

During the fourth quarter, Pomona-Pitzer would add two more goals while La Verne would tally one more with time running out in the game.

The Sagehens would win, 14-8, to improve to 6-1 in SCIAC play, as eight different Sagehens would score in the victory.

La Verne falls to 2-5 in conference play and will head into the SCIAC Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed.

“The games that I have been to have been very close,” junior psychology major Ashley Cervantez said. “Hopefully they’ll play really well at the SCIAC tournament.”

La Verne will play the No. 3 seed, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, today at 10:45 a.m.

“Claremont has a lot of talent but I think Redlands is the clear favorite to repeat as champs,” Rodriguez said.

Redlands will be looking to defend their SCIAC title at each tournament game that will be held at the La Verne Aquatics center.

The three-day event will begin today with four games back-to-back every hour and forty five minutes.

Pomona-Pitzer (6-1) and Occidental (1-6) will match up first at 9 a.m. followed by the ULV/Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5-2) game at 10:45 a.m.

The last two SCIAC tournament games today begin at 12:30 p.m. as defending champions Redlands (7-0) take on Caltech (0-7).

The final game of the first day matches the teams with the closest SCIAC records this season, as Whittier (4-3) battles Cal Lutheran (3-4).

Jason Jarvis can be reached at jjarvis2@ulv.edu.

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