Nov. 17, 2008

 

Courtesy of Cal Lutheran Athletics

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The California Lutheran University men's water polo team dropped a 9-12 decision to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Sunday afternoon. The Sagehens make it back-to-back SCIAC tournament and overall titles following the victory.

Pomona-Pitzer never trailed and took its first lead with 2:35 left in the first quarter as Robert Hayes scored.

CLU's Brian Giegoldt scored his first of two goals on the first CLU power play opportunity just 33 seconds later.

PP's Ben Hadley, the game's leading scorer with four goals, fired a shot from nearly 13 meters out in the waning seconds of the opening quarter off the far post and in to give the Sagehens a 2-1 first quarter lead.

Trailing 1-3 early in the second quarter, CLU again responded with goals from Wes Lewis and Matt Heagy in the following 75 seconds to tie the game.

In turn the Sagehens finished the remainder of the first half with a couple of scores and Hadley scored his first of three third quarter goals to take a 6-3 advantage.

Cal Lutheran pulled to within two goals on four separate occasions trailing 4-6, 6-8, 8-10 and finally 9-11 with only 1:05 left in regulation.

A near CLU steal turned into an exclusion and the Sagehens put away the game when Jason Henshall scored his second of the contest with 32 seconds remaining.

Cal Lutheran was very effective on power play and penalty shot opportunities scoring seven of its nine goals following an exclusion or penalty (7-of-11 total). In contrast, the Sagehens went 1-for-7 on man-up chances.

Pomona-Pitzer (14 points) earned the title with five first round victories and nine points with the tournament title. Redlands (13 points) finished third in the tournament but are SCIAC runner-ups with seven first round wins and six tournament points. Both teams went first and second in 2007, respectively.

Cal Lutheran (11 points) finished as tournament runner-ups and third overall with four first round wins and seven tournament points.

Occidental (9 points) finishes fourth, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (7 points) and Whittier (7 points) tie for fifth, La Verne (3 points) takes seventh and Caltech (1 point) rounds out the standings.

Cal Lutheran (14-13, 6-4 SCIAC) earned its highest conference finish, most wins in a single season (14), most SCIAC wins (6), first winning record in six seasons and longest win streak in school history (6) and defeated its highest ranked opponent ever (Redlands - 13th).

Tournament Central: 2008 SCIAC Men's Water Polo Championships