Kingsmen Water Polo Falls to University of Redlands Bulldogs

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Kingsmen Water Polo Falls to University of Redlands Bulldogs

The Kingsmen water polo team takes a shot against the Redlands Bulldogs on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The Kingsmen water polo team takes a shot against the Redlands Bulldogs on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Isaiah Volk

The Kingsmen water polo team takes a shot against the Redlands Bulldogs on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Isaiah Volk

Isaiah Volk

The Kingsmen water polo team takes a shot against the Redlands Bulldogs on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Isaiah Volk, Reporter

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The California Lutheran University Kingsmen water polo team took to the pool at the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25, facing conference opponent University of Redlands.

Losing by a score of 8-5, the Kingsmen fell to 1-5 on the season and to 0-2 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“Last year [against Redlands] we came out big with a win and we were just trying to feed off that win, trying to prove who is the better team. Even though we didn’t come out successful, I think we are the better team and will show that in the future,” senior attacker Tanner Kaplan said.

Two early goals were scored in the first quarter by Kingsmen sophomore attacker Ben Brown, creating a lead of 2-0. The Redlands Bulldogs were then able to get a shot past junior goalkeeper Andre Rivas to close in on the score, making it 2-1.

In the second quarter, the Kingsmen notched two more goals, both scored by senior attacker George Lundgren. The Bulldogs came back to score two goals of their own, closing in on the Kingsmen lead at the start of the third quarter.

“We came into this game expecting a win, you know… I think the first [half] we mentally were in the game, but in the second half we lost it,” Lundgren said.

As the second half began, the Kingsmen pressed the Bulldogs defense. Sophomore utility player Dillon Goldsmith was able to score another goal, making it 5-3.

However, there was a shift in momentum for the Kingsmen, as the Bulldogs scored a total of five goals taking the lead in the third quarter.

“We felt really good in the first half, really fired up, really strong and really aggressive, you know, but they had some energy too coming off the second half and things happened,” Kaplan said.

The fourth quarter was an all defensive battle for the Bulldogs as they looked to hold onto their lead. The Kingsmen continued to press in the final quarter, with many shots attempted on goal, but nothing came of it.

“We went into the game excited and that showed in the first half, but I think we kind of got into our own heads a little bit, and I think we let the emotions of the game run too high and that ended up costing us the game,” Lundgren said. “I think we mentally just had a lapse there for 16 minutes of water polo, so there’s nothing really much else to that.”

The Bulldogs were able to hold off the Kingsmen to take the game, putting the Bulldogs at 6-5 overall on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

“The mindset was to go win and we didn’t win, and we feel like we can win any game. Obviously our shooting let us down in the second half and weren’t able to generate any goals, so it’s hard to win without generating any goals,” Head Coach Craig Rond said.

Making key plays to keep the Kingsmen competitive within the game, Rivas was able to come up big in goal, preventing the Bulldogs from stretching their lead even further in the second half, Rond said.

“Andre Rivas is a great goalie. He is a premier, great guy, and he is the foundation of our defense. If you watch the game you can see he really helps us on defense,” Rond said.

In preparation for their upcoming games, the Kingsmen look to reboot and work on getting ready for their next conference match.

“Right now our defense has been really good. It’s just our offense we have to work on, so that’s what we will be doing for the next two days,” Rond said. “We are just going to work on a better balanced offense and better shooting, because if we had a balanced offense and better shooting we’d probably score seven to eight more goals and probably get the win.”

The Kingsmen will travel to the California Institute of Technology on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to compete in their fourth conference match of 2019.