Polo battered by injuries, fall to 1-8

Sophomore driver Mark Alvarado (12) looks to score against Cal Lutheran Saturday. Photo by Kate DeSalvo

The men’s water polo team fell to 1-8 at Saturday’s double header, first losing to California Lutheran University 11-10, and then falling to California Baptist University 12-9

These defeats mark six straight losses for the team this season as tournament play continues to be a struggle.

“We were making dumb errors and playing sloppy,” said Drew Moyer, sophomore utility. “We weren’t playing our offense and they capitalized off of our mistakes.”

In the first game, sophomore driver Mark Alvarado led the Panthers with five goals and junior utility Brett Carter added two more.

“We went into the game thinking it’d be easier and our intensity in the first half wasn’t there,” Carter said.

After a second quarter where they gave up six goals, the Panthers went into the half down 9-3. Halftime served as a turning point for the Panthers, but adjustments still weren’t being made late in the game.

“Overall I was happy [with this game], we just had one bad quarter that we couldn’t come back from,” said Head Coach Eric Ploessel.

The Panthers played with more energy in the third quarter. Playing with a high paced offense, the Panthers were able to penetrate Cal Lutheran’s defensive front, shooting on goal regularly. This new found strength and poise brought the Panthers back as they went on a 6-1 run to go into the fourth quarter down 10-9.

“We realized we had to get into the game and we all stepped up and brought more energy,” Carter said.

Junior defender Sina Yeker (13) tries to keep the ball away from a Cal Lutheran opponent Saturday. Photo by Kate DeSalvo

The fourth quarter was more of the same with both teams battling back and forth. The Panthers gave up a goal to go down 11-9 and despite a late rally in the final 30 seconds, Chapman couldn’t close in and lost 11-10.

Tournament play has roughed the team up with injuries to starters; senior goalie Taylor Roszkos, junior utility Brett Carter and junior driver James Vigeant. Carter sat out during the second game Saturday.

“We’re injured and we were forced to sit some of our guys in the second game to rest,” Ploessel said. “We’re beaten up.”

Ploessel wants to use the 12-9 loss as preparation for the team’s immediate rematch with Cal Baptist next week.

“Our biggest issue has been our offense and controlling the ball,” Ploessel said. “Our turnovers are costing us goals. We have to control the ball, and that’s what we’re going to work on this week.”

The Panthers’ season continues at the UC Davis Tournament Saturday Sept. 22 with another game against Cal Baptist at 8 a.m.

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