May 2013 Aquatics Alumni Update #2

Aquatic Newsletter May 22, 2013


Happy Birthday to Derek Greene.  Derek decided to appear on Mother's Day just to help dad Mike Greene remember the date (he will never forget it, wink, wink ).  Mike '92 was an All SCIAC 400 IM Champion and a heck of a water polo player as well. It was a happy mother's day for mom Jen and big brother Ian too. Rumors are already starting that Derek and Ian are starting a mighty first and second leg of a 200 Free Relay.


Well “Ditch Day” at Caltech has not happened yet (really).  Maybe tomorrow.


The lady Techers put up an outstanding first half during their last match of the year against Chapman.  They blasted off to a three goal lead behind the scoring of (Sr.) Karen Dowling, (Sr.) Hanna Dodd &  (Fr.) Souyma Kannann while Chapman could only get a lucky goal just before half past the outstanding Caltech goalie (So.) Connie Hsueh.  Third quarter Chapman fast-broke for six goals and Caltech's Hanna Dodd was the only answer with a single goal. The fourth stanza Chapman continued to fast break until the final buzzer. Final Score CIT 4 Chapman 14.

US Club Championships   Hannah Grotzinger (Fr.,  Pasadena, Calif.) posted six goals to notch "Player of the Game" honors as No. 19-ranked Middlebury College stunned No. 6 University of Notre Dame, 8-7, in the opening round of the 2013 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of Minnesota.  Hannah is daughter of Caltech Geologist and Mars Curiosity "PI" Dr. John Grotzinger.  Also in the pool for Notre Dame was Ellen Dowling (So., Ann Arbor, Mich.) both of Ellen's parents David and Cathy graduated from Caltech and played water polo.  Ellen had a great game and chipped in two goals for the Irish.

Ellen Dowling tallied three goals to claim "Player of the Game" honors and her teammates tacked on eight more goals as No. 6-ranked the University of Notre Dame put down the No. 7 Golden Bears of the University of California, 11-7, to reach the Ninth Place Game of the 2013 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of Minnesota.

Unknown by most spectators, the goalie for the Club Berkeley Bears is Caltech's own Panna Felton '10.  Panna swam and learned water polo at Caltech she currently is playing goalie for Cal while she earns her PhD.  Panna had 11 saves in this game.

At the Women’s NCAA Championships on the campus of Harvard University

USC and Stanford battled for almost 2 hours with 2 over-time periods and two full sudden death periods before Trojan freshman Anni Espar drilled the game-winner for the Trojans to beat Stanford 10-9 in the third sudden-death period of play.  The match was the first women's water polo NCAA final to go to overtime. 

There are some Caltech connections on both teams: 
USC’s back up freshmen goalie Alegra Hueso was the goalie for both Emma & Hanna Dodd’s Pasadena High School Team.  Senior Trojan Chelsea Silvers also played at the “Rose Bowl Water Polo Club” and played with both Dodd girls and goalie Alegra. 

Stanford has Jr. Kelsey Suggs, whose father is Brian Suggs, who was also a polo player but for Caltech.  Yes, Caltech.  Proud father graduated from Caltech.   Also, sophomore Kiley Neushul’s (one of the top players in the nation) father, Peter Neushul, worked at Caltech for three years.  While at Caltech, Peter & wife Cathy played for coach Dodd’s club team and he helped out with the Caltech varsity team.  (All three of the field players were starters for their team.)

In the other “best game of the championships,” Pomona Pitzer upset Iona College 13-12 for 7th place.  The game was amazing as the Sagehens were 4 goals down with only 4:38 left in the game.  Then in one of the best come backs in NCAA history, Pomona scored 5 goals to win the game at the buzzer.  Scoring a pivotal goal was Sophomore Chrissie Alving-Trinh (Fresno, CA).  Chrissie’s mother is Dr. Loren Alving, Caltech class of 1983.  The Pomona Pitzer team did a great job representing the SCIAC conference and we want to send a big Caltech Cheer to Pomona Pitzer Polo Team.  


Hanna Dodd - Senior Hanna Dodd was named to the SCIAC’s second-team all-conference team on Thursday afternoon. The honor is voted on by the league’s nine head coaches.

Dodd is the third women in Caltech history to be named to the league’s all-conference team and the first since 2007. Chelsea Sharon (2007) and Delia Davies (2005) also received the honor. The women’s water polo program started in 1982 and SCIAC play started in 2002.

“I am really happy for Hanna. She is very deserving of this honor. I commend the SCIAC head coaches for recognizing the talent she has,” fifth year head coach Josh Moser said. “Hopefully this will be a trend for the Beavers water polo program.”

Dodd led the team in scoring for all four seasons. This year she scored 39 goals; including five hat tricks during the campaign. She was also the team leader in steals (31) and exclusion drawn (32).

She will graduate in June with a degree in Mechanical Engineering then pursue her post-graduate degree at Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering program.


The Caltech vs. Pepperdine Story (From Dr. David Kremers Visiting Professor in Aerospace) David did his undergrad at Pepperdine and relates the time Caltech played in "The Wave" Pepperdine Water Polo Tournament

The year was 1984 and the Pepperdine men's water polo team was going through one of its 'playing dirty' cycles after being inspired by their alum / hero Terry Schroeder, who captained the USA Olympic team the previous summer.  You may remember they used to go through these cycles thinking they could get away with it by being a 'church school.'

The team's dining table in the Pepperdine cafeteria was a Hollywood central casting of rowdy water polo, swim team guys plus a few surfers.  But when I sat down with my dinner tray one night I noticed right off, the team just playing with their forks and food plus a tenor of serious debate.  I hadn't seen them this upset since the year before when the guys who doubled on the swim team had been completely outclassed during a surprise dual meet with the PAC-10 Arizona State where they'd swam in the wakes of the women swimmers.  So, right away, I asked what was up.

Turned out they were totally freaking out about the prospect of little Caltech coming to play water polo the next day.  I think I actually laughed out loud.  'You don't get it', they said, 'these guys are all future Nobel winners and what if we hurt them?'  'Seriously, what happens if we knock out the guy that's supposed to cure cancer after he graduates?'  which just showed what little exposure to scientific research they had had, but I couldn't talk them out of it.

Next day at lunchtime they all looked even more nervous than the night before so I sat with other friends at a table far away. When Caltech turned up that afternoon their team was barely one third of the typical number, mostly maybe a foot shorter, and easily three times as pale.  The few spectators were expecting a rout.

Surprisingly Caltech scored something like 4 goals in the first half...while Pep scored maybe one, if was literally an upset.  During the break nobody on deck could help but hear Pepperdine's coach Rick Rowland screaming at his team but I doubt if even his team could make out what words he actually sputtered.  They got back in the pool looking heartbroken.

I think Caltech was able to make one more goal in the third period, but by the fourth they were starting to tire out.  By then Pepperdine was getting their act back together, and they scored five quick goals that snapped them back into reality so that they ended up just drowning Caltech even though they won by just one point.  But nobody did get hurt that day.

>> What Coach Dodd remembers of that Game

Caltech had a number of wins that year against Division I LMU, Cal State LA, UC Riverside and totally took care of Redlands.  Pepperdine was an outstanding team and would end up fourth at the NCAA Championship at the end of the season.

We did come out shooting the ball very well and All American goalie Reed Burkhart kept Pepperdine at bay.  While Caltech was winning the game, I noticed the referees were watching me closely because this would have been historic and I think they wanted to take everything in.  But at last, the speed of the Pepperdine was just too great and we gave up the lead late in the third quarter and eventuality lost 7 - 5.  

After the game the Techers were a little down and one of the Pepperdine players stopped a group and said "Hey, we (Pepperdine) are a pretty good team and you guys played really well to keep it so close".  He also wished us good luck for the rest of the year.  (I thought that was very nice of him)