The men’s water polo team suffered a 14-11 loss to the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer Saturday.
The game was the Leopards’ senior game.
The two teams were in a teeter-totter for the first half until the Sagehens pulled away the second half sealing the victory.
“We know them really well, so when we do our defensive stuff or offensive schemes, we try to match and try to counter where they are,” head coach Alex La said about the match-up against the Sagehens. “We’re able to have some advantage through that because we knew them so well.”
Scoring remained back-and-forth as the Leopards ended the first period leading 3-2.
“We took a big step forward today,” senior attacker Matthew Monterroso said. “This program has been pretty dominant in our conference for a long time and it feels like the first time that we’ve put all four quarters together.”
Throughout the first and second periods of the game, the Leopards kept things tight.
In the second period, La Verne scored two points before the Sagehens came back to score three goals of its own.
The Sagehens took a 7-4 heading into halftime.
La Verne came out to score five points in the third with an impressive amount of help by sophomore attacker Bryan Jimenez putting the Leopards only one point behind the Sagehens.
Jimenez tallied four goals for the game
“We just kind of came up short with some stuff,” Dimic said. “We had some difficult times in the third but we were able to stick through it and come back in the fourth.”
Moving into the last period, a long point for point match-up saw the Sagehens lead the Leopards 10-9.
Sophomore driver Matthew Vega went in to score his third game point early in the fourth, evening out the score against Pomona-Pitzer 10-10.
Leopards’ junior goalkeeper Daniel Newell kept the ball out of the net in the fourth with multiple saves against the strong Sagehens’ offense attack.
Newell recorded a total of 14 saves by the end of the match.
La Verne could not recover in the fourth period as Pomona–Pitzer came away with the victory.
“We couldn’t quite put it away, but I am proud of the way my team played,” Monterroso said.
La praised his team for the efforts and the hard work they applied to the last regular season game.
“The guys really took in what we worked on and really applied it in the game,” La said. “We played well, we left everything in the water, and it just didn’t go our way.”
The game marked the end of the regular season for the Leopards.
It was also the final home game for the three remaining seniors which included Monterroso, utility player Daniel Hargis, and attacker Bosko Dimic.
La Verne ends their regular season with a 6-20 record and a 2-6 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record.
The Leopards finish the season placing seventh in the SCIAC standings.
Pomona-Pitzer ends the regular season with a 9-21 overall record and a 5-3 record in SCIAC play.
The Sagehens finished the season placing fifth in the SCIAC standings
The Leopards will end the season this weekend at the SCIAC Championship Tournament hosted by Chapman.
La Verne will play this Saturday at 2:30 p.m against Claremont-Mudd Scripps.
The Leopards are 0-3 against CMS this season scoring no more than 10 goals in any of the games.
Alana Glenn can be reached at email@example.com.