Water Polo Dominates in California


Fordham Water Polo took down its third nationally-ranked opponent on Friday. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Sabrina Boyd, Contributing Writer

Fordham Water Polo dominated in the pool during the team’s annual West Coast trip in California, leaving the Golden State with five wins. The Rams began with wins over Redlands and Mt. San Antonio. They continued to impress in the Gary Troyer Tournament with a thrilling overtime win against #16-ranked California Baptist and a win against Occidental. Fordham was handed its only loss in the tournament by #9 UC San Diego, before closing it out with a win against Chapman. The Rams now hold a 15–4 record on the season.

Fordham led 9–4 by the end of the first half against Redlands. The goal deficit was shortened to three by the third quarter, but the Rams took a defensive stand during the fourth, not allowing a single goal and securing their win. The final score was 13–8 in favor of the Rams. In their match against Mt. San Antonio, the Rams defensive play in the fourth once again prevented their opponent from scoring, resulting in the victory. The end result was a 12–6 win for Fordham. Offensively, the Rams showed off their overall team strength, with nine different players putting points on the board by the end of the day.

The Rams began the Gary Troyer Tournament with a bang, ultimately triumphing over California Baptist for the first time in 11 meetings. Fordham pulled ahead to an 8–6 lead in the fourth, but Cal Baptist managed to equalize in the dying seconds, forcing overtime. Senior Jake Miller-Tolt scored the game-winning penalty shot with a minute left to play, and senior Tristen Knoflick secured a steal to run out the clock. Both Miller-Tolt and sophomore Dimitris Koukias had three goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Bailey O’Mara was the game’s star, racking up 17 saves in net and two steals. The game ended in an 11–10 overtime victory for Fordham. Against Occidental, the Rams had a surging lead from the start that never let up. Miller-Tolt picked up his second hat trick of the day. Freshman Jason Hiremath and juniors Sam Wheeler and Gordan Rowland each scored two. The final score was a decisive 13–3 for Fordham.

The Rams were finally defeated by #9 UCSD. The Tritons led by six at the end of the 1st quarter and continued to increase their lead, which ended in a brutal 19–5 victory for UC San Diego. Fordham managed to turn things around in the final game against Chapman, maintaining a small lead by the end of the half. The Rams then kicked into gear and outscored Chapman 11-5 over the final two quarters. Jake Miller-Tolt was a superstar, with seven goals, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Senior Oscar Nomura also had a strong game, with four tallies and an assist during the game. The end result was an 18–10 win for the Rams.

Overall, Fordham’s California venture can be counted as a major success. The team has played very strongly this season. Miller-Tolt said, “I think we all knew we had a good team, but definitely feels nice to come out and get some big wins to show that we are that good team.” The Rams are back in their own pool on Saturday, Oct. 19, where they will host Navy and Princeton. The Navy game begins at 11 a.m.