The California Lutheran University men’s water polo team came up short against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, 14-7, on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Samuelson Aquatic Center at California Lutheran University.
Although the Kingsmen could not come up with the win against the Sagehens, first-year utility player Dillon Goldsmith tallied four goals for the Kingsmen. First-year left attacker Ben Brown, sophomore attacker Parker Jory and junior attacker Tanner Kaplan each added goals of their own to the board.
“It felt great to score a lot of goals but, at the end of the day, we’re trying to get that win…It was a tough game, but hopefully we can get it next time,” Goldsmith said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Andre Rivas stood guard on defense for the Kingsmen, recording 13 saves and an assist on the afternoon.
“We started slow today. I started out slow myself—I wasn’t feeling really that into it, but after making a couple saves, I got into a rhythm and more warmed up and started reading the shooters better,” Rivas said.
The first-place ranked Sagehens offense took advantage of the slow Kingsmen defense, scoring five goals in the first quarter alone.
The Kingsmen came back to fight in the second quarter, scoring their first goal on the Sagehens with Goldsmith burying the ball in the back of the net off an assist from Rivas. Goldsmith also tallied a steal before ending the first half with Pomona in the lead, 8-1.
In the third quarter, Goldsmith scored off of a penalty called against the Sagehens. He followed it with a third goal, tallying his second in less than a minute.
Brown and Kaplan added a fourth and fifth goal for the Kingsmen along with another goal from Goldsmith, but the Sagehens’ offense continued to dominate. The fourth quarter began with the Sagehens ahead, 11-6.
In the fourth quarter, Jory tallied a seventh goal for the Kingsmen, but the Kingsmen offense still couldn’t outscore the Sagehens. The Kingsmen lost to the Sagehens 14-7.
Though they didn’t come up with a win against the Sagehens, Head Coach Craig Rond said the team is already gearing up for their next league game.
“We had a really good game plan, which we executed for three quarters—it just wasn’t the first quarter,” Rond said. “A team like Pomona—they’re very good, they’re outstanding shooters, they’re very smart in the water, and if you bury yourself five-nothing, then I don’t know if you’re going to win the game.”
In addition to working on executing a game plan, the Kingsmen are looking for a change in mindset as they move through their season.
“I think we just need to learn how to come out hard and come out with a swinging mindset,” Goldsmith said. “If we do that, then we can keep it a close game in the first quarter.”
Rond said he is looking for a strong game-day mindset as the Kingsmen head into their next Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game against Occidental on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m.
“I’m proud of the guys for executing a great game plan in quarters two, three, four,” Rond said. “But, moving ahead, we need to be able to execute a game plan [in quarters] one, two, three, four, and when we do that, then we’re going to be pretty darn good.”