Seniors shine in final home match

Jeff O'Brien (Photo by Larry Newman)
Jeff O'Brien (Photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's water polo team rolled to an 18-9 victory over Caltech (8-15, 2-11 SCIAC) on its annual senior night on Wednesday night. The Panthers (14-12, 10-3 SCIAC) were led by the six seniors who were honored at the start of the match.

Five of the six seniors tallied at least one goal and assist against the Beavers. Jeff O'Brien led the pack with six goals and three assists, moving up in the record books to rank third in Chapman history with 217 career goals. Jack Hillman and Nathaniel Fernandez each recorded two goals and three assists, while Bennett Royce recorded two goals and one assist and Wilson Parnell tallied one goal and one assist in the final regular season home match of their careers. Louis Campbell also tallied three steals to help lift the Panthers over Caltech.

O'Brien started out the match scoring three back-to-back-to-back goals, all within one minute and 20 seconds of each other. Parnell and sophomore Cameron Genetti added two more goals to put Chapman up 5-0, but the Beavers came back with four unanswered goals to pull within one going into the second quarter.

The second quarter was all Panther action, as Royce, Hillman and Fernandez each netted a goal apiece to extend Chapman's lead going into halftime.

Caltech junior Charles Ross, who scored six of their nine goals, added two goals for the Beavers in the third quarter. The Panthers answered, as O'Brien added two goals and Fernandez and sophomore Eric Sichak each tallied one goal to put the Panthers ahead by six going into the final eight minutes of the match.

Royce started the scoring in the fourth quarter, followed by Caltech freshman Rahul Arun. O'Brien scored his final goal of the match to put the Panthers up 14-7. Sophomore John Macdonald was the next to score, recording his first goal of the season. Chapman and Caltech traded goals for the remainder of the match with the Panthers eventually coming out on top 18-9.

Sophomore Wesley Hertel tallied five blocks and four steals, while at the other end of the pool sophomore Bradley Justice recorded five saves and three steals. O'Brien also added to his career-high earned exclusions, tallying four in tonight's match.

Chapman heads to Pomona-Pitzer for its final match of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Panthers then head into the SCIAC postseason tournament on Friday, Nov. 17.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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