Fourth Quarter Surge Lifts La Verne in Tight Contest
PASADENA, CA – In a game that saw eight ties and four lead changes, the La Verne men's water polo team used a strong fourth quarter to pull away for a 13-10 win over Caltech on Saturday morning.
Through the game's first 24 minutes neither team held a lead larger than one goal.
Jim Blackwood scored the contest's first goal when he found the back of the cage just past the five minute mark in the opening period. After La Verne tied the score at 1-1 with 2:55 left, the Beaver came back on their next possession and re took the lead on a Jack Blackwood goal. The visitors tied the game at 2-2 on their ensuing possession with a Troy Williams tally. Patric Eck gave the lead back to Caltech with 1:54 left in the stanza. The Leopards scored the final two goals of the period to take a 4-3 edge into the second quarter.
Caltech scored the frame's first two goals when Jack Blackwood scored back-to-back goals. With Caltech up 5-4, La Verne found the equalizing goal on a Bryan Jimenez tally. With 1:31 left in the half, Brian Penserini scored the stanza's final goal and gave Caltech a 6-5 lead heading into the locker room.
A high energy third quarter kept the score nip-and-tuck. La Verne tied the game on their first possession of the quarter with an Arturo Villalpando goal. Caltech continued to apply pressure but for the two goals the Beavers scored in the third quarter, the visitors immediately responded.
With the score knotted at 8-8 entering the final quarter, the Leopards scored the first three goals of the frame to go up 11-8 with 3:57 left in the contest. La Verne pushed their cushion to four goal a minute later when Jimenez scored his third goal of the game. Caltech got within three goals at 12-9 with a Jim Blackwood goal with 2:31 left. However, that was as close as Caltech came to pulling out the win.
Jim Blackwood had a team best four goals while his brother, Jack, tallied his sixth hat trick of the season. Ben Grabowksi made 13 saves and didn't allow two five-meter penalty shots to go in.