Polo sinks opponents in two victories

University of La Verne Leopard Stephen Smith charges for the ball during the third quarter of play against Caltech. The Leopards dominated the game, scoring their first point in the first possession of the game. / photo by Tom Galaraga
University of La Verne Leopard Stephen Smith charges for the ball during the third quarter of play against Caltech. The Leopards dominated the game, scoring their first point in the first possession of the game. / photo by Tom Galaraga

by Meridith Zembal
Staff Writer

Men’s water polo is making a strong comeback from its slow beginnings.

This past Saturday Pomona-Pitzer hosted a SCIAC match-up against La Verne, and the Leopards gave the Sagehens no chance of winning during the entire game.

Seven of the Leopards’ goals were scored in the first half, opening up a tremendous lead that was enough for the rest of the match.

“It’s a whole new team,” said La Verne goalkeeper John Steifling.

“We’re really coming together as a team,” he said.

The teamwork was apparent that morning, when the La Verne goals were scored by a number of players, including the following: Sean Smith, Ian Gratz, Alex La, Jason Kidwell, Brent Rothweiler, and Owen Barrett.

Steifeling had a total of eight saves in the first three quarters he played.

Pitzer’s goalkeeper, Jamie Love, had a total of six saves but allowed 10 goals.

The Leopards were up 9-0 at the end of the third quarter, giving them a comfortable lead.

And the Sagehens’ retaliation was slim. Only one goal was missed by sophomore goalie Graham Miller, during the fourth quarter, which was the only goal posted by the Sagehens’ offense.

The winning streak continued for Wednesday’s game against Caltech.

There were several players ejected from the game, which highlighted the match for the spectators.

However, the Leopards were able to develop a comfortable lead of 7-0 in the first half of play.

The offensive strategies and defensive tactics were too much to handle for the Caltech Beavers, and the Leopards easily dominated the pace of each quarter.

Senior driver Sean Smith was the Leopards’ high scorer with three goals in the match.

The momentum continued through the game making the final score 11-3.

The Beavers were unable to post any real effort to compete against the Leopards.

La Verne’s SCIAC record is 4-0, putting it at second place in the conference.

The only team above the Leopards is the undefeated Redlands Bulldogs, which is currently 4-0 in SCIAC.

“We’re ready,” said head coach Tim Hugar.

“It’s just a matter of trying to execute what we need to execute,”he said.

The game against Redlands will be at 4 p.m. today, and the conference leader will be determined.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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