Water polo struggles against division I competition

The top-class opposition in this weekend’s Aggie Invitational was too much for the Chapman men’s water polo team, as they fell to Stanford 26-3, Santa Clara 13-7, UC Davis 12-10 and UC Berkeley 15-8.

Chapman’s highlight of the weekend was the close game with UC Davis, in which the Panthers held the 11th ranked Aggies to 12 goals, and led at the end of the first half 8-7. Davis then surged back in the final two quarters, claiming the win.

In the other matches, the Panthers were blown out 26-3 by Stanford, and trailed 8-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Against Santa Clara, Chapman saw more time in possession of the ball, but failed to capitalize on its offensive chances, leading to more goals conceded on the counter-attack in a 13-7 loss.

California pounced on the Panthers in their final game, pulling ahead early and absorbing the pressure from any Chapman attacks with relative ease as the third ranked team in the country cruised to a 15-8 victory.

Junior driver Mackey McGibbon, who scored goals against both Stanford and Cal, stuck to the positive side when analyzing this weekend’s results.

“Overall, we improve the most from these games,” McGibbon said. “We come in with our heads held high looking to play our hearts out there and [attempt to] upset these top-ranked teams. Though we weren’t able to do that exactly, we were able to take steps forward preparing for our upcoming (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) SCIAC games.”

Sophomore utility Corey Plaster echoed his teammate’s sentiment.

“The point of going to these tournaments and playing these top-tier Division I teams is to push ourselves to play together as a team and see how we hold up against the best,” Plaster said.

While the scores are not flattering, Chapman will try and focus on the strong quarters of play that the team managed to put together against tough opposition, and carry that into its upcoming SCIAC games. The Panthers are lined up against Johns Hopkins, Fordham and Washington & Jefferson this weekend.

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