Men's Water Polo

Poets knock off No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer, 6-5

Poets knock off No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer, 6-5

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Last Saturday's upset loss to Occidental is now in the rear-view mirror for the Poets as the Whittier College men's water polo team knocked off No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer, 6-5, on Wednesday evening.

The Poets (10-11, 1-1 SCIAC) never trailed and held the nationally ranked Sagehens scoreless in each the first and fourth quarters.

Wes Paulson started the scoring for the purple and gold with a backhand scoring strike at 6:05 of the first frame. He added his second goal of the afternoon at the 2:30 mark of the first.

Pomona-Pitzer, who is ranked No. 17 in the Varsity Top 20, cut its deficit in half with its first goal of the game at 7:19 of the second quarter.

Lincoln Haley took advantage of the extra-man opportunity at 4:31 to push the Poets' lead to 3-1. Back-to-back goals by the Sagehens evened the score at 3-3 but Erick Gonzalez made good on his only goal of the game just 1:16 before the intermission.

Gonzalez's goal came after the Poets drew an ejection.

Whittier pushed its lead to two goals at 5-3 after Will Jackson opened the second half with a goal, however, Pomona-Pitzer scored third quarter goals at 6:08 and 4:22 to tie the game heading into the final eight minutes.

Only one goal was scored in the final frame and Rilesh Desai had the honors. He recorded the game winner at 5:20 of the fourth.

Gonzalez finished the game with three assists while Robert Nihei added one helper. Desai, Nihei, Jackson, Joey Kienle, Haley, Paulson, Michael Eachus and Gonzalez all had steals in the win.

Chad Evenrud made 19 saves in the win which includes one in a man-down situation.

The Poets will have little rest as it travels back to Claremont, Calif., on Saturday morning to face No. 4 Claremont-M-S at 10 am.