Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
DAVIS, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team wrapped up the AGGIE Invite Sunday but dropped both match-ups as they fell to No. 1 USC (13-2) and No. 9 Harvard (10-9).
Whittier drops to 2-7 on the season but looks to make a big impact in conference play, which begins this weekend.
Game 1 (No. 1 USC – L, 13-2)
The Poets were matched up against the top ranked team in the country for the second time this season but this time around battled falling only 13-2. WC saw themselves trailing 9-0 at the break but made a push over the final sixteen minutes with freshman Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) adding both Whittier tallies in the third quarter.
Game 2 (No. 9 Harvard – L, 10-9)
The final match-up of the Invite came against No. 9 Harvard and what a final game it was. The first quarter was a defensive stand with both teams finding the goal once. Borunda put the Poets on top midway through at the 4:23 mark but the Crimson were able to deadlock the game on their next possession.
The second quarter was back and forth this time with both teams tacking on two goals apiece. Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) put WC on top 2-1 and Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.) found the back of the net for his first of the game with 3:22 to play in the half. But again Harvard was able to counter moving the score to 3-3 at the break.
Out of the break, the offense picked up for both teams combining for nine goals over the eight-minute period. The Crimson though were able to hold the advantage at 5-4. Zdolsek and Heredia Viteri would each add two goals apiece during the run.
In the fourth, Borunda tied things up quickly at 8-8 with an unassisted strike. But Harvard was able to come back with back-to-back goals both coming on man-up opportunities that moved the score to 10-8. Marc-Andre Roy (Montreal, Canada) was able to get into the scoring category with 3:23 to play that pulled Whittier within one. But that would be the final goal scored by either team as the Crimson would hold on for the one-goal victory.
Whittier had two chances in the final seconds to force overtime getting shots from Kalani Fouts (Capitola, Calif.) and Heredia Viteri but both would be denied by Crimson goalie Anthony Ridgley.
Ersoz played a tough game between the posts finishing with 12 saves, with four coming on man-down situations and another on a 5-meter penalty.
Whittier enters Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this Saturday, September 22 when they take on Caltech beginning at 11:00am.