LA VERNE — The Occidental men's water polo team improved all season through its very last game.
The Tigers defeated La Verne 11-10 on the road on Saturday for its second SCIAC win of the year. A rapidly rebuilding Oxy squad finishes the year with 12 victories, its best overall total since 2008.
Oxy took advantage of its chances early in the game to get its offense rolling.
"I'm proud of our effort today," Oxy head coach Jack Stabenfeldt said. "We scored early goals that jumpstarted us in the first quarter. We've had opportunities early in many games, so it was important to have those shots fall for us."
Cian Concannon led Oxy with three goals, Elijah Havens and Nicolas Lipari each had two goals and an assist, and Alexander Zim added two goals against the Leopards. Lipari also had four steals and Oxy goalie Henry Grady had nine saves and a pair of steals. Walter Sandbloom and Alex Marlott rounded out Oxy's scoring with one goal each.
Chucky Ortega scored a game-high five goals for the Leopards, including one that cut Oxy's lead to 11-10 with 42 second left, but Oxy was able to hold on.
Oxy shot .524 and held La Verne to just .278 shooting.
It was a wire-to-wire win for the Tigers who scored the first goal, led 6-5 at halftime and never trailed.
Oxy says goodbye to Zim, its lone graduating senior.
"Alex Zim played big minutes today as he always does," Stabenfeldt said. "He is a very smart player and his ability to defend multiple positions helped us get crucial stops down the stretch. I'm proud of his work this year, which will extend beyond his playing career.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram