Photo by Charlie Magovern
PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2015) – Freshman Charles Ross (Wexford, Pa. / North Allegheny) turned in another dominant performance between the posts with 18 saves for the Caltech men's water polo team in a narrow defeat to DIII RV Occidental College on Wednesday night.
The Tigers built up a four-goal halftime lead and survived a late rally to claim the 9-6 victory, improving to 3-17 overall and 1-6 in the SCIAC while the Beavers dip to 7-16 (0-7).
Caltech lit up the scoreboard first on a strike from junior Christopher Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Serra), but Oxy netted twice over the remainder of the quarter and rode a 4-1 edge in the second to a 6-2 halftime lead. Freshman Eshan Govil (Redwood City, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) made a heads-up pass to junior Tomas Tussie (Weston, Fla. / Cypress Bay) in the hole set for the Beavers' second tally.
The Beavers started the second half on fire with senior Patric Eck (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) scoring a pair of hard-earned goals from close range, the second via assist from senior James Blackwood (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. / Palos Verdes Estates) on a breakaway to make it 6-4 with 2:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Tigers struck for two goals before the end of the period, however, to lead 8-4 heading into the fourth.
With 12 saves already to his name, Ross cranked it up another notch in the fourth quarter, making a further six saves to keep the Beavers within striking distance. The offense took advantage of the opportunity after struggling to find an open look over the first four minutes of the period, netting twice within one minute as Bradley powered a rocket through the goalie's hands and flipped a long ball in to Blackwood, who volleyed it in to cut the deficit to two with almost three minutes left to play. Oxy's defense stepped up in the final minutes, though, to force some ambitious long-range attempts with the shot clock expiring and netted a late open-goal insurance score for the final 9-6 score line.
Govil finished with three assists while Eck made four field blocks and drew another four exclusions, bringing him within two of the program single-season record.
Head Coach Jon Bonafede and the Beavers close out the first leg of SCIAC play on Saturday, Nov. 14 playing host to DIII No. 5 Chapman University (13-9, 5-2) at 11 a.m.