The Fordham water polo team headed to southern California this weekend, the heart of United States water polo, to compete in six games over three days. They began competition on Thursday, when they faced LaVerne and Mount San Antonio in preparation for the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament held at Pomona-Pitzer College.
The Rams first traveled to LaVerne, where they won by a comfortable 12-6 margin, including three goals from from junior RJ Simmons and two from senior Andrew Gonzalez, who was named CWPA Northern Division Player of the Week honors on Thursday.
Following this victory, the team visited Mount San Antonio College, where they handily beat the Mounties, 12-8. The Rams showed dominance again, never trailing at any point in this game, as senior Patrick Lennihan tallied four goals, backed by scores from Gonzalez, Simmons, senior Patrick Reyes, sophomore Ethan Vandeventer and freshman Magnus Sims. Alex Jahns started both games in the goal, being relieved by sophomore Bryce Charles in the fourth quarter against LaVerne, and recording seven saves against Mount San Antonio in the second. Coach Harris said of the two Thursday victories, “…overall it was a good day. Two wins after a cross-country flight is a success.”
Over the next two days, Fordham competed in the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament, in which they split four thrilling games. The Rams began the tournament against Whittier College and led Whittier at the end of each of the first three quarters, leading 9-7 going into the fourth. However, Fordham gave up four late, unanswered goals and dropped the close game to Whittier in the final minutes.
Next, the Rams played Redlands University, in what was likely the most tightly-contested game of Fordham’s weekend, if not the season. It was a defensive battle, and Fordham entered the second half leading 3-0. Redlands, however, came back with a fierce 5-2 run in the second half to send the game into overtime.
The Bulldogs scored first in the overtime period, taking advantage of the exclusion of Reyes. Soon after, freshman Magnus Sims scored a late goal to send the game into a second overtime.
Early in the second overtime period, Bulldogs senior Nelson Glendinning scored to seal a sudden-death victory for Redlands.
In the third game of the tournament, Fordham faced Occidental and won 7-6, bolstered by a stunning five goals from Lennihan. This tight victory was followed by yet another close match against Cal Lutheran.
The game was close the whole way through, but Simmons netted a goal with less than one minute left to break a 7-7 tie and send the Rams home with another win.
The Rams showed resilience on this away stretch, competing in six very close games after a cross-country flight, and coming out 4-2, to improve to 10-8 on the season.
Fordham will have a break until their next conference macth, which will be played at home against Iona this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Last year, the team dropped two of its three matches with Iona, including the lone contest held at Fordham’s Colonel Francis B. Messmore Aquatic Center