Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team took to the pool Halloween night and handed Claremont-M-S a trick and a treat as they held on for the 11-10 victory.
The previous time these two teams met the Stags pulled out the 11-10 victory back on September 29. But this time around the Purple & Gold got their revenge swinging the score in their favor 11-10 Wednesday night.
With the win the Poets have now won five of their last six and five consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match-ups and improve to 13-12, 8-3 SCIAC. They also currently sit in a tie for 2nd with Claremont-M-S within the conference standings.
The game had some momentum swings but what proved the difference was the big first quarter by the Purple & Gold who outscored the Stags 4-1 with strikes coming from Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa), Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.), Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.) and Chad Portugal (La Habra Heights, Calif.).
But in the second, CMS stormed back and swung the game in their favor outscoring Whittier 4-1 that deadlocked the game at 5-5 at intermission. Freshman Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) got the Poets back on track to start the third quarter getting fed by Kalani Fouts (Capitola, Calif.) but the Stags would counter with three unanswered to go on top 8-6.
Whittier scored the last goal in the third from Southpaw Paul Pittion (Aix en Provenca, France) to cut the deficit to one. In the fourth, CMS extended the lead back to two with Ethan Lewis finding the back of the net with 7:34 to play. But after that it was all Whittier as they would go on a 4-0 run that covered a little over two minutes that put WC on top 11-9. During the run, Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) put up two on 6-on-5 situations and was joined by Heredia Viteri and Reyes Jr.
This lead held up until the final minute of play when CMS' Christian Thornton would cut the lead down to one with :41 seconds left. After a big stop by the CMS defensive unit, they would get one final look for the equalizer. But after a timeout called by Greg Lonzo, the Stags would be whistled for an offensive foul giving the ball back to the Poets, who would run the clock out.
Whittier outshot Claremont-M-S 34-31 and was 5-for-9 on power plays. Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) picked up the win in goal finishing with 14 saves and two steals.
Whittier travels this Saturday, November 3 as they take on the top ranked Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer beginning at 11:00am.