PASADENA (Sept. 18, 2019) – The Caltech men's water polo team tested defending SCIAC champion Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Wednesday evening's competitive SCIAC opener. The Sagehens finished the 2018 season 14-0 against conference opponents and recently received votes for the CWPA Top-20.
Throughout the game, the Beavers refused to back down particularly in the first and second periods when they cut the Sagehens lead to one goal on multiple occasions thanks to goals from junior center Steven Csaposs (Davis, Calif. / Davis) and freshman Max Bricken (Portland, Ore. / Westview). By halftime, Pomona-Pitzer's led by just two goals thanks to a Rahul Arun (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Adlai E Stevenson) buzzer-beater from long distance. The Caltech defense held up in the meantime, as the Beavers accrued several stops while senior goalkeeper Bradley Justice (El Cajon, Calif. / Grossmont) made a big save on a 5-meter penalty shot.
Csaposs' ability to find the net proved key for the Beavers. The senior had his highest-scoring game in two years with six of Caltech's nine goals and his connection with Arun was effective throughout the night with the latter player assisting on a pair of goals. Freshman Matthew Hajjar (San Jose, Calif. / The Harker School) also scored for the Beavers, while Justice notched his fourth-consecutive six-save night while playing the entire 32 minutes. Although the Sagehens' depth and experience took over late, Head Coach Jon Bonafede's Beavers proved they could compete with the very best the SCIAC has to offer and will have plenty to be confident about over the rest of the season.
Bonafede and the Beavers will next head to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges to meet the Stags on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m.