The Chapman women’s water polo team lost a close game at home Wednesday night to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent Occidental, 7-6.
The loss was the second straight for the Panthers, and their eighteenth of the season.
“We knew it was a must-win, and we didn’t win,” said junior utility Riley Ford. “That’s a bummer.”
The Panthers got off to a slow start in the first half, and trailed the Tigers 4-1.
“All season long we have been more of a second half team,” said senior driver Allison Harf. “We’re trying to find new ways to get more energy in the first half.”
Chapman’s struggles continued as the Tigers scored two more in the third quarter, holding a 6-2 lead.
“We have to be able to put away opportunities when it counts,” Harf said.
The Panthers fought back and tacked on two goals late in the third, followed by two more in the fourth quarter, but could not complete the comeback, falling just short.
“It’s nice to know we have sparks of energy, and can play really well if we put it all together,” Ford said. “We just need to figure out how we can play a full game.”
The loss Wednesday marked the eighth time this season the Panthers have lost by a single goal.
“We are not losing to teams by a bunch,” Ford said. “Even though our record shows that we have had a poor season, we have been right there with a lot of good teams.”
While the Panthers (9-18, 2-2) have struggled so far this season, they are confident they can turn it around with the SCIAC tournament rapidly approaching.
“We lost in double overtime to Claremont who is the number one team in SCIAC right now, so we are up there and competitive with every single team in SCIAC,” Ford said.
Chapman will play its next two games this Saturday, on the road at Citrus College against Azusa Pacific at 2:30 p.m., followed by a match against Loyola Marymount at 5:30 p.m.