Second Half Surge Hurts Leopards

Second Half Surge Hurts Leopards

LA VERNE, CA — Charles Ortega led all players with five goals, Vasil Halchev scored four times, and the University of La Verne men's water polo team took a 10-9 lead into halftime against perennial power Pomona-Pitzer.

But the Sagehens went on an 8-2 run in the third quarter to pull away for good and defeat the Leopards 19-16.

Stat Leaders

Ortega scored five times off nine opportunities and added an assist. Halchev dished out three assists to go with his four goals.

Both Alam Barnuevo and Guillermo Ocasio netted a trio of goals. Ocasio also finished with a game-high five assists to go with two steals. 

Rex Sample had a big game defensively, leading all players with five steals to go with an assist. Myles Storms finished with one goal, one assist, and one steal.

Joseph Shafer led Pomona-Pitzer with four gaols and Adam Gross contributed three goals.

Key Stat

The game featured eight total penalties that resulted in eight goals. The Sagehens bennefiited from five of the penalties which proved to be the difference.

How It Happened

The squads went back and forth it the opening eight minutes with neither team able to get a significant edge.

La Verne took the momentum into the break when Ortega broke away and scored just before the buzzer sounded to give the Leopards a one-goal lead heading into the third quarter.

The Leopards extended their lead to 11-9 when Ocasio hooked up with Storms for the opening goal of the second half. 

But that's when all the momentum switched to the visitors as the Sagehens rallied off six-straight goals to take the lead for good. La Verne outscored Pomona-Pitzer 4-2 but it wasn't enough to pull even.

Season Impact

With Saturday afternoon's result, the Leopards fall to 4-12 overall and 1-4 in conference actions. The Sagehens improve to 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the SCIAC.

Next Game

The Leopards take a break from SCIAC competition with a pair of nonconference games tomorrow at Las Flores Park. La Verne opens the day with a 10 a.m. game against Austin College and follows it with a 1 p.m. contest versus Washington and Jefferson.

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