Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team wrapped up their 2016 regular season Saturday evening at the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center as they sent off their ten seniors in impressive fashion powering past Occidental College 16-7.
With the win, the Poets extend their conference winning streak to six games and have won six of their last seven moving to 18-11, 7-1 SCIAC and clinch the No. 2 seed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Post Season Tournament set to take place this weekend, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 18-20 hosted by Caltech.
Prior to the game, Head Coach Justin Pudwill recognized his ten seniors leaving the program, which included Christopher Ibarra (Chino, Calif.), Nikolas Gregov (Sunnyvale, Calif.), Mihailo Vuja (Belgrade, Serbia), Hunter Pelletier (Miami, FL), Marko Miocic (Great Neck, NY), Tucker Vejsicky (Irvine, Calif.), Carlos Campos-Moya (Madrid, Spain), Julian Droetti (Irvine, Calif.), Wedge Molthen (Buena Park, Calif.), and Massimiliano Mirarchi (Rome, Italy).
Whittier controlled from the opening whistle. They held a slight 2-1 advantage following the first eight minutes with both strikes coming from Mirarchi. Vejsicky added the first two goals in the second that stretched the lead to 4-1 and Nick Hyden (Melbourne, Aus.) and Miocic would add another pair that sent the Purple & Gold into the half leading 7-2.
The Poets outscored the Tigers 4-3 in the third quarter coming from four different players (Aidan Tol (Tustin, Calif.), Campos-Moya, Mirarchi, and Molthen. But they would put the game out of reach adding another five in the final stanza led by Mirarchi who tossed in another two bringing his total to five for the game.
Ibarra got the start in goal and finished with 10 saves, with seven coming in the first half. Gregov played in the fourth and tallied two.
Mirarchi finished the game with five goals and was joined by Vejsicky with three.
Whittier will take on a team to be determined in the No. 2 vs. No. 7 match-up in the first round of the SCIAC Post Season Tournament with time to be determined and the location being at Pasadena City College.