Photo by Bob Palermini
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2015) – Junior Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Serra) regained the SCIAC lead with 60 goals on the season thanks to a 13-goal haul as the Caltech men's water polo team split a pair of games at Chaffey College, 13-10, and against Ventura College, 10-12, on Saturday morning.
The Beavers are now 6-9 overall with one non-conference game remaining before SCIAC play begins.
Caltech 13, Chaffey 10
Caltech controlled play to pen the first game, limiting Chaffey to just two shots in the first quarter. That dominance led to three Beavers goals, with Bradley netting a brace and assisting senior James Blackwood (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula), who returned the favor on Bradley's second goal. The Panthers converted their first attempt of the game at the 2:37 mark to cut the lead to two, but freshman Shaurya Gilani (Chicago, Ill. / Adlai Stevenson) stuffed the second shot with 19 seconds remaining for the first of an eventual 12 saves – the first double-digit total of his career.
The Beavers extended the lead to four with goals from Blackwood and senior Patric Eck (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) before the Panthers struck for their second. Bradley netted two more on consecutive possessions to make it 7-2 and Caltech followed Chaffey's third strike with two more before the quarter ended, with another three Bradley attempts in the final minute failing to find the back of the net as the halftime score read 9-3.
Blackwood opened the scoring again three minutes into the second half, but Chaffey began to rally with back-to-back goals and three straight between the late third and early fourth quarters, pulling within three at 11-8 with 5:20 remaining in the game. Eck assisted Bradley to break the eight-minute scoring drought with 3:32 on the clock, but Chaffey made one final push with goals at 3:12 and 1:54 to trim the deficit to two. The Panthers forced a turnover on the Beavers' next possession, but Bradley sealed the game with a steal, drawn exclusion and his season-high eighth goal on another Blackwood assist with 49 seconds left to play.
Bradley netted his eight goals on 18 attempts without committing a single turnover, while Blackwood amassed three goals and four assists. Eck drew six exclusions, scored twice and made two assists while freshman Eshan Govil (Redwood City, Calif. / Serra) built on his recent hot streak with two assists, three steals and two field blocks.
Ventura 12, Caltech 10
Just minutes after ending the first game, Caltech found itself on the opposite side of the coin in the second game, falling behind 4-1 midway through the first quarter before salvaging a second goal at the 2:20 mark. Bradley and Blackwood scored and assisted once each in the quarter as the offense struggled to maintain possession and create open looks.
Blackwood would find Bradley again to cut the margin to one early in the second quarter, but Ventura opened up a four-goal lead before Caltech could get back on the board via a third Blackwood-to-Bradley connection. The Beavers pulled back within two at 7-5 and 8-6 over the first four minutes of the second half, but Ventura scored on three consecutive possessions to take a nearly insurmountable 11-6 lead with just 1:59 left in the third.
Caltech put together a rally down the stretch, outscoring Ventura 4-1 in the quarter, but could not capitalize on a breakaway opportunity to come within one in the final minute.
Bradley scored five goals on 10 attempts while Blackwood registered two goals and another four assists. Eck drew a season-high-tying seven exclusions as sophomore Henry Baer (Lafayette, Calif. / Acalanes), Govil and junior Tomas Tussie (Weston, Fla. / Cypress Bay) netted once each. Freshmen John Lloyd (San Diego, Calif. / Torrey Pines) and Charles Ross (Wexford, Pa. / North Allegheny) made a season-high 10 and six saves, respectively, in goal.
Head Coach Jon Bonafede and the Beavers will head to LA Trade-Technical College on Saturday, Oct. 17.