WHITTIER, Calif. – The Chapman University men's water polo team had to settle for seventh place at the SCIAC Championships Tournament, hosted by Whittier College over the weekend. As a result, the Panthers' season came to an end as they were eliminated from contention for the Western Water Polo Association Championships, missing the tournament for the first time since 2007.
The Panthers, who entered the SCIAC Championships as the No. 3 seed and ranked third in Division III, stumbled out of the gates, losing on Friday to Cal Lutheran 15-14 in overtime. Chapman then lost to La Verne 14-10 on Saturday before beating Occidental 20-13 in the seventh place game on Sunday.
Game 1: No. 6 Cal Lutheran 15, No. 3 Chapman 14 (OT)
Chapman (14-16) led by as many as four goals at halftime and 10-7 with under a minute left in the third quarter, but the Kingsmen came storming back with five consecutive goals to take a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Junior utility Brett Carter and sophomore driver Mark Alvarado scored back-to-back goals to knot the score at 12, forcing overtime. Cal Lutheran took a 15-13 lead in the first overtime period and hung on from there to knock the Panthers into the consolation bracket – a crippling loss for playoff-hopeful Chapman.
Carter and Alvarado each finished with four goals. Carter added four assists and three steals while Alvarado tallied six steals. Junior driver James Vigeant pitched in three goals for the Panthers.
Game 2: No. 9 La Verne 14, No. 3 Chapman 10
A let-down game for the Panthers after the first round loss, La Verne jumped all over Chapman building an 8-2 lead in the first half and padding that to 13-5 at the end of three quarters. The Panthers rallied in the fourth quarter to out-score the Leopards 5-1, but it was too little, too late. Sophomore driver Chase Middlesworth scored three goals to lead Chapman.
Game 3: No. 3 Chapman 20, Occidental 13
A big third quarter by the Panthers, outscoring Occidental 6-1 in the period, added to a four-goal halftime lead and gave Chapman a 16-7 advantage. Junior utility Kyle Troiano helped the Panthers build that first-half lead with five goals, all before halftime. Carter added four goals of his own as Chapman finished the tournament on a high note.
Senior goalie Taylor Roszkos made nine saves in the game and ended the season with 226 to eclipse the 200-save milestone for the third straight season. He finished his career with 785 saves overall.