Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
PASADENA, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team saw their quest for another Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship Title come to a close Saturday morning as they fell to the No. 3 seeded Stags of Claremont-M-S.
Whittier saw their conference winning streak snapped at seven games as they fell 10-9 to Claremont-M-S dropping to 19-12, 8-2 SCIAC.
The only time these two teams met was back on October 19 that opened up conference play and Whittier came away with the 11-7 victory.
Saturday afternoon at Pasadena City College, the Poets were outscored 7-4 in the second half and that proved the difference as the Stags came away with the upset.
Whittier held a slight 3-2 lead after the first quarter of play, which included two man-up goals from Aidan Tol (Tustin, Calif.) and Hunter Pelletier (Miami, FL). They would outscore CMS 2-1 in the second stanza and had a lead of three following back to back strikes from Massimiliano Mirarchi (Rome, Italy) and Marko Monic (Zagreb, Croatia).
The 5-3 lead at halftime wouldn't hold however as the Stags rallied with four goals in the third quarter that pulled them within one at 8-7 entering the final eight minutes. Monic extended the lead back to two quickly to begin the fourth but over the final 7:00 minutes it was all CMS as they would outscore Whittier 3-0, which included the eventual game winner with 2:17 to play.
The Poets had three opportunities for the equalizer late in the quarter but none would fall as Claremont-M-S would hold on as they moved on to the Championship Game.
Mirarchi totaled four goals for the game on 12 shots, while Monic and Tol each registered two.
Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 between the posts and picked up 11 saves and two steals.
Whittier outshot the Stags for the game 43-27 and was at a .500 clip on man-ups going 4-8. On sprints for the game, the Poets were 3-4.
Whittier returns to the pool tomorrow, Sunday, November 20 as they take on the University of Redlands in the 3rd Place Game. Game time set for 1:30pm.