Strong second half push gives Chapman comeback win over Oxy

David Carson (photo by Chris Donlon)
David Carson (photo by Chris Donlon)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Occidental College men's water polo team jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second quarter only to see host Chapman University come storming back in the second half as the Panthers defeated Occidental 11-9 at the Allred Olympic Pool on Sunday afternoon. No. 7 Chapman out-scored No. 10 Occidental 8-3 in the second half in a battle of two top-10 Division III programs.

Chapman (7-8) took its first lead since the first quarter with 5:57 remaining in the game as senior driver David Carson scored his second goal of the game to give the Panthers an 8-7 advantage. Occidental tied the score just 19 seconds later on a goal by senior 2-meter Brendan Whitmore.

However, the Panthers scored the final two goals of the game; sophomore driver Jack Cutler scored the game-winner with 4:05 left in the game and freshman driver Mark Alvarado sealed the win with his third goal of the game 30 seconds after. Cutler had two goals and two assists in the game.

In what has become characteristic of the Panthers' play in recent days, Chapman spotted the visiting Tigers with a 6-2 cushion after Occidental (1-9) scored three consecutive goals to begin the second quarter. The Panthers salvaged one goal midway through the quarter to trail 6-3 at halftime.

A strong third quarter pulled Chapman even at 7-all thanks, in part, to goals by Carson and Alvarado and a tough defensive front by the Panthers and their junior goalie Taylor Roszkos who finished with seven saves.

Chapman defeated Occidental for the second time this season and improved to 2-1 at home. The Panthers have won five of their past six contests against Division III and NAIA schools.

by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director