Men's water polo hands CMS its first SCIAC loss

Graham Asalone looks for an open shot.
Graham Asalone (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – A second half run put the Chapman University men's water polo team way out in front and the Panthers held on to defeat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 11-9. The Panthers (9-15, 5-4 SCIAC) handed CMS (12-6, 7-1 SCIAC) its first conference loss of the season.

Freshman Graham Asalone led the Panthers to the win with three goals and six assists. Junior Vasil Halchev also scored three time, including twice in the second half.

Halchev scored the opening goal of the second half and sparked a 5-0 Chapman run that lasted the first 10 minutes of the half. With the run, the Panthers broke a 6-6 tie to go up 11-6 with just over six minutes to play. Junior Wesley Hertel and the Panthers defense shutdown CMS in the third quarter, holding the Stags off the scoreboard completely.

The defense allowed just three goals on 13 powerplays with Hertel blocking 12 shots. His 267 saves this season rank fourth in Chapman history with six matches still to play. Chapman went 4-for-7 in the man-up opportunities on the other end.

CMS finally stopped the Chapman run with six minutes left in the match and ended on a 3-0 run but Chapman was able to run out the clock for the big win over the Stags.

The Panthers and Stags were tied at halftime after sophomore Hunter Ramaekers opened the scoring two and a half minutes into the match but CMS' CJ Box responded. The Panthers took a 3-1 lead out of the first quarter after goals from freshman Evan Belli and sophomore Hayden Reider but CMS scored the first three goals of the second quarter to take its first lead of the match at 4-3.

After trading goals to make it 5-4, Asalone tied up with a 5-meter goal and scored again with under one minute left to make it 6-5. Zack Rossman tied it up 6-6 with 12 seconds remaining in the half with the first of his team-leading three goals.

After upsetting Division III's second-ranked team, the Panthers welcome Division III's top-ranked team, Pomona-Pitzer, on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match at Allred Pool.


By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director

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