Oxy Faces NCAA Division I Opponents

Oxy Faces NCAA Division I Opponents

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental men's water polo team took on a pair of NCAA Division I opponents in a doubleheader at the Inland Empire Classic at Redlands on Saturday.

Oxy faced UC Santa Barbara and Air force.

"Playing these tough opponents shows us what we do well and what we need to improve on," Oxy Jack Stabenfeldt said. "You have to be detailed in your defensive approach to get stops against Division I teams, and we know that we have to be faster to keep up with the speed of the game."

Game 1: UC Santa Barbara 22, Occidental 7

Elijah Havens led Oxy with one goal, one assist, and two drawn exclusions. Daniel Cruz was Oxy's top goal-scorer with two goals.

The Tigers created a lot of power play opportunities, but went just 3 for 13.

Oxy's best quarter was in the third, when it scored three goals.

Shea Grosz, Christian Guillaume and Jarrod Norton rounded out Oxy's goal scorers. 

Oxy goalkeeper Henry Grady made eight saves and first year Cole Ivie made his college debut in the fourth quarter.

Game 2: Air Force 18, Occidental 8

The Tigers were competitive in the first half, especially in the first quarter when they traded goals with Air Force.

Nicolas Lipari led the way with a big game, scoring twice, assisting on one goal, to go along with three steals. Grosz played well again with two goals and two assists, and Hayden Comerford, Havens, Joseph Cox and Guillaume all scored one goal.

Season Impact: Oxy falls to 4-2 on the season.

Next Game: The Tigers begin SCIAC play this week on Wednesday at Chapman at 7 p.m.