ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's water polo team fell 17-11 to No. 19 Pomona-Pitzer (16-7, 9-0 SCIAC) earlier this evening. Junior Vasil Halchev led the Panthers (9-16, 5-5 SCIAC) with five goals in the match.
The Sagehens came out of the opening whistle fast and quick, scoring four consecutive goals to take an early 4-0 lead with just under four minutes left to play in the first quarter. Halchev answered with his first goal of the match to cut Chapman's deficit to three. The two sides then played a scoreless three minutes to enter the second quarter with Pomona-Pitzer up 4-1.
Once again, the Sagehens came out fast out of the sprint, scoring back-to-back-to-back goals just three and a half minutes apart from each other to take a six point lead. Sophomore Hayden Reider pushed back, scoring an unassisted goal with just over three minutes left to play in the quarter. Sagehen sophomore Noah Sasaki answered with two goals to finish out the period, giving Pomona-Pitzer the 9-2 edge at halftime.
Freshman Graham Asalone and Reider each found the back of the net to start off a third period that saw Chapman score six of its 11 goals. The Sagehens answered with back-to-back goals but the Panthers weren't done. Chapman scored four consecutive goals in under four minutes to pull back within three points. Pomona-Pitzer's senior Adam Ward scored with just two seconds left in the third to put the Sagehens up 12-8 with eight minutes left to play.
Halchev took control in the fourth, scoring three of his five goals in the final quarter of play. Pomona-Pitzer responded, scoring five of their own in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated in SCIAC play.
Along with his five goals, Halchev also tallied three steals and an earned ejection. Sophomore Hunter Ramaekers, freshman Ethan Walter and senior Brady Hoskins each found the back of the net once in the close match. Ramaekers, junior Jared Bernardi and freshman Evan Belli each earned a couple of ejections to give the Panthers multiple six-on-five situations.
Junior goalkeeper Wesley Hertel recorded seven saves in tonight's match, bringing his season total to 275 saves. The veteran now ranks second all-time at Chapman in saves in a single season and is just 16 saves shy of tying the school record.
The Panthers head out on the road for their next three matches before returning to Allred Olympic Pool on Saturday, Nov. 10 to face off against Caltech at 11am and Air Force at 7pm.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant