LA VERNE, CA — Ryan Lehotsky posted the best game of his career, the Leopards never trailed, and the University of La Verne men's water polo team scored a huge win over the visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags Wednesday afternoon.
The win keeps the Leopards in the race for the final spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. Chapman, Redlands, Cal Lutheran, and La Verne are all in the hunt for the fourth seed. With just four SCIAC games remaining, the Leopards have little room for error. La Verne improves its record to 9-14 overall and 4-6 in conference play.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who entered the game in second place, falls to 12-9 overall and 7-2 in SCIAC action.
Lehotsky played outstanding in the cage. The sophomore out of Bonita High School recorded 13 saves, made several huge one-one-one saves, and helped limit the Stags to just two goals on eight powerplays.
The Leopards did damage on their powerplay opportunities, scoring on six of their 10 chances.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was led by Will Clark's two goals and two assists.
How It Happened
The Leopards go off to a fast start with Halchev and Barnuevo both finding the back of the net just over a minute and a half into the contest. Goals by Ortega and Staine put La Verne up 4-0 and it looked like the Leopards would end the period with a big lead.
But the Stags stormed back in the final two minutes of the frame, scoring four times to even the game at the end of the first quarter. La Verne opened the second quarter on a 2-0 run before the Stags' Zack Rossman netted a shot to put the score at 6-5 at the half.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps even the game in the third off a goal by Ethan Lewis, but the Leopards responded with a 3-0 run on goals by Storms, Ortega, and Halchev to take a commanding 10-7 lead with 6:45 left in the game. The Stags scored the final two goals of the game to put the final at 10-9.
The Leopards have a big road game on Saturday when they travel to Cal Lutheran (4-5 SCIAC) to take on the Kingsmen at 11 a.m. The game is a must-win for both teams if they hope to stay in postseason contention.Watch Live Download the SCIAC TV App Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram