MALIBU, Calif. Â Led by an unstoppable offense, a huge crowd of Wave supporters and freshman goalkeeper John Hahn’s 16 saves, the Pepperdine men’s water polo team defeated the Golden Bears, 7-5, on Saturday afternoon at the Raleigh-Runnels Pool.
"We had a lot of focus on this game," said goalkeeper Hahn. "We knew it was time to step it up and we pulled it together. The fans were awesome and really lifted the team's energy."
Senior Grant Miller (La Verne, Calif./ La Verne HS) and junior Clayton Snyder (Seal Beach, Calif./ Los Alamitos HS) led the Waves offense with two goals each.
Snyder set the tone for the Waves (8-3) scoring the first goal of the match with 7:43 left in the first period on a Pepperdine power play. Senior Adam Hewko (Irvine, Calif./Servite HS) followed up with another ball in the cage at 6:23 to give the Waves a 2-0 lead. Cal (6-3) answered back with its first goal of the match by Brian Roach with 4:42 remaining in the period. The Waves held off a 6-on-4 play by the Bears with a strong defensive effort by Hahn and the defense. Hewko scored on another 6-on-5 opportunity to end the first quarter, 2-2.
While 6-on-5 opportunities have plagued the Waves in the last few games, today it was a different story. Miller took advantage of a Cal ejection with 6:30 on the clock in the second quarter to give the Waves a one-point lead, 3-2. Junior J.P. MacDonell added another goal for Pepperdine just 26 seconds later, 4-2. The Waves continued their offensive run with a third goal for the period by junior Taylor Watson (Alamo, Calif./ Monte Vista HS), 5-2.The Bears ended the run with 2:28 left in the half with a goal by Trent Calder, 5-3.
Both teams put forth strong defensive efforts in the third quarter with Miller scoring another goal for the Waves on a power play at 4:27, 6-3. Cal’s Charles Steffens responded with a goal for the Bears on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 1:29 on the clock. With just 4 seconds remaining Snyder scored the final goal of the period to put Pepperdine up by three, 7-4.
Fourth quarter continued with both teams executing tough defensive plays to hold off scoring until the final second of the period when Cal’s Roach scored the last goal of the match, 7-5.
"The difference today was our confidence level," said head coach Jack Kocur. "We came out and played our game, not their game. We worked all week on 6-on-5 opportunities and it showed. The students, parents and fans were fantastic today!"
Next up for the Waves is another home match, Friday, Oct. 3, at 2 p.m., against Harvard.
PEPPERDINE vs. CALIFORNIA
1 2 3 4
PEPP 2 3 2 0 7
CAL 2 1 1 1 5
PEPP Goals (Grant Miller 2, Clayton Snyder 2, Adam Hewko 1, J.P. MacDonell 1, Taylor Watson 1) 7
CAL Goals (Brian Roach 2, Frank Reynolds 1, Trent Calder 1, Charles Steffens 1) 5
Goalkeeper Saves: John Hahn (PEPP) 16, Jacob McInto (CAL) 8.