Water polo has winning weekend
The men’s water polo team had its best weekend of the season, winning three of four games at the Gary Troyer Tournament in Claremont. The Panthers have won four of their last six games to pull their record to 6-13 (0-1).
The Panthers defeated Fresno Pacific 12-7, Mercyhurst 17-11 and Penn St. Behrend 20-8 before losing to George Washington in overtime, 15-14. Earlier in the week, Chapman dropped its first SCIAC match to rival Claremont Mudd-Scripps, 13-8.
“We are looking to build off this weekend,” said freshman utility Willis Allen.
On the first day of the tournament, Chapman cruised, defeating both Fresno Pacific and Mercyhurst. The game against Mercyhurst was tied 7-7 at halftime, but the second half was a different story, as the Panthers outscored the Lakers 10-4.
“Basically, we just played better defense than they did,” said junior utility Brett Carter. “We shut down their key players and limited their opportunities to touch the ball. That was the difference.”
Having narrowly defeated Fresno Pacific 14-11 Sept. 29, the Sunbirds posed an interesting challenge for the Panthers. Chapman didn’t miss a beat.
“We just knew what to expect from them,” Carter said. “After barely beating them the first time, we knew what we needed to do to get a bigger win.”
The next day, Chapman rolled over Penn St. Behrend 20-8, before losing an overtime game to George Washington 15-14.
The Panthers scored more goals and had their widest margin of victory this season against Penn St. Behrend, scoring ten goals in each half of play.
While the day started off extremely well for the Panthers, it ended in a struggle with a heartbreaking loss to George Washington.
In the Panther’s first conference matchup against Claremont Mudd-Scripps (5-13, 1-1), Chapman fell behind early, allowing three goals in the first four minutes of play, and could not recover. Allen scored the first of his two goals to cut Claremont’s lead to two, but Chapman could not put together any more offense and fell behind 5-1.
“It was the first quarter, they killed us, we played with them from that point on,” said Head Coach Eric Ploessel. “We cannot fall behind like that and expect to win.”
Junior utility Kyle Troiano opened the scoring in the second quarter cutting the lead to 5-2, but Claremont responded quickly, extending the lead to 7-2 at the half.
In the second half, the Panthers and the Stags traded goals as sophomore Mark Alvarado scored twice. Allen, Carter, junior driver James Vigeant and freshman utility Garrett Aanestad all scored goals in the second half.
“We need to do a better job of staying intense and playing hard throughout practice,” Ploessel said.
The Panthers will travel to Cal Tech for the team’s second conference game Wednesday.