PASADENA, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2022) - The Caltech men's water polo program hosted the Leopards of the University of La Verne in Braun Pool on the Caltech campus in SCIAC action on Saturday. In an aggressively played game from the opening sprint, both teams traded early goals with the visitors physically imposing their will against the smaller and outnumbered Beavers. While Caltech capitalized by scoring powerplay goals on three of nine opportunities, as well as a penalty goal on La Verne's tenth exclusion, it wasn't enough as the Beavers fell to the Leopards 13-22.
-Final Score: Caltech-13, La Verne-22.
-Location: Braun Pool, Caltech
-Records: Caltech 3-7, 0-4 SCIAC, La Verne 6-13, 1-3 SCIAC
-With :51 seconds remaining in the second period, sophomore utilityman Sean Zheng (San Marino, Calif. / Polytechnic School) scored an equal strength goal, the third unanswered by the Beavers, to bring Caltech within two trailing 8-10. But the Beavers couldn't hold off the Leopard attack, as La Verne scored two late goals to make it a four goal difference, 8-12, the last coming with just :02 seconds before the intermission. In spite of winning the sprint to start the third period, the Beavers conceded the first four goals of the second half and found themselves doubled up 8-16 with just over two minutes gone in the third.
-Bram Schork (Villanova, Pa. / The Haverford School). While being harrassed and double teamed for much of the game, freshman Schork was able to create enough space to launch 11 shots on goal, scoring 5 times, including successfully converting a 5 meter penalty shot. In addition, he drew two exclusions and was credited with two steals in the contest.
-Sean Zheng. Building on the consistent and steady play he's demonstrated all season, the sophomore scored four goals on five shots on Saturday, while also assisting on five of the Beavers 13 goals. Winning the sprint in the first and second periods, Zheng continues to do the little and big things that gains the Beavers an extra possession, or makes the pass that leads to another teammate's success.
-Max Bricken (Portland, Ore. / Westview). Leading the team offensively on the season gets you noticed, and Bricken found himself under intense scrutiny throughout the game. With the Leopards happy to commit common fouls against Bricken no matter where he touched the ball in the pool, he was still able to lead the Beavers efforts with 13 shots for the game, scoring two goals. He added three assists and drew two exclusions against La Verne leading to man advantage opportunities for Caltech.
-James Bowden (Los Angeles, Calif. / Granada Hills Charter). Credited with scoring two goals on five shots, senior Bowden raised his number of goals scored to nine for the season. He also added a steal and a drawn exclusion on the day.
"I'm extremely proud of the way we played," Head Coach Jon Bonafede said. "We executed what we wanted to do in many situations and kept our tempermant. I really believe that our team members are model student athletes and our team plays the game the way its meant to be played. We will grow from this game and will continue to improve as the season progresses."
-In the first ten games of the 2022 season, Bricken has already reached the century mark for shots, climbing to 107 with his 13 shot effort on Saturday. Even more impressively, his 44 goals on those 107 shots is a shooting percentage of .411, nearly 100 points higher than the .317 average he amassed in 17 games games as a junior when he took 120 shots and scored 38 goals.
-The play of 6'6" freshman Schork has matched or exceeded expectations, both his own and that of the Caltech coaching staff. In his inaugural collegiate campaign, Schork is second on the team in shooting percentage at .368 and has scored 25 goals on 68 shots, 12 of the goals coming in the past two games.
-Zheng is 9-0 in sprints so far this season in SCIAC action, for a perfect 1.000 win percentage. In addition, he is the team leader in assists by a factor of three with 27
The Beavers are back in action on Wednesday, October 12 at 7 PM when they host the University of Redlands Bulldogs in Braun Pool. Admission to the contest is free that can also be live streamed at www.GoCaltech.com. Live stats and game recaps are also found by visiting this site.