Pirates pull away from Cypress to topple the Chargers

Pirates pull away from Cypress to topple the Chargers

COSTA MESA -- In the "cozy" confines of the Orange Coast College Swim Complex, the OCC men's water polo team wore down visiting Cypress, then cruised to a 24-9 Orange Empire Conference win on Wednesday afternoon.

After the Chargers (2-5, 0-3) took a 3-2 lead into the first quarter, the Pirates (6-3, 2-0) used their depth and never let up against much thinner Cypress lineup. Trailing 4-3 in the early minutes of the second quarter, the Pirates turned up the energy and scored the next nine goals. Nicolas Fichman scored three goals over that span, while Jared Smailes and Ryan Baumann each scored twice, giving Coast a 12-4 advantage with five minutes left in the third quarter.

In spite of a solid eight-goal performance from Cypress driver Cameron Davidson, the Chargers could not keep up with the waves of Pirate offensive options. Coast outscored Cypress 15-3 over the middle quarters and left the Chargers in their wake.

Fichman led the Pirate attack with seven goals and two assists, while Baumann tallied six goals and four assists. Luke Rhone added three goals and three assists, while Zack Sproul and Smailes each notched two goals.

In goal, Connor Halloran had nine saves, while for the Chargers, Connor Foley had eight.

The Pirates will return to action on Friday at the Riverside City College Tournament. OCC's next home contest will be on Oct. 23 against Fullerton, beginning at 3 p.m.