Kingsmen water polo reign victorious in conference opener against Redlands Bulldogs


Photo by Leslie Mendez- Reporter

Cal Lutheran earn the victory in a hard fought match against Redlands.

Leslie Mendez, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen Water Polo team continued their winning streak against the University of Redlands Bulldogs, taking a 6-5 win at the Samuelson Aquatic Center on Thursday, Sept. 16.

The Kingsmen started off slow, allowing the Bulldogs to take the lead and score in the first quarter making it a 1-0 game. 

With three minutes left in the second quarter, junior attacker David Brandt scored the first goal to put Cal Lutheran on the board. Two minutes later, senior left-attacker Justin Krause scored by letting one pass the goalkeeper, putting the Kingsmen up 2-1.

“I think we came out kind of flat today but towards the second half we were able to hang in there better and get some more energy,” Krause said.

Cal Lutheran struggled to keep the lead, allowing the Bulldogs to tie the game and eventually take the lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter for a score of 5-3. After two failed attempts at scoring in the middle of the fourth, Krause scored once again to bring the score to 5-4.

Throughout the game, Head Coach Cody Pletcher emphasized the importance of shooting.

“Our guys missed a lot of opportunities to score easy goals, we talked about that,” Pletcher said. 

Justin Krause looks to score against Redlands. (Photo by Leslie Mendez- Reporter)

Coach Pletcher praised his team in their efforts to shoot the ball more in the second half.

“We are a very resilient team and I think we showed that being down by two in the fourth quarter and then stopping them and going up by one,” Pletcher said.  

With 2:07 left on the clock in the fourth, Krause got the ball with an assist from senior catcher Wyatt Lowe and scored to tie the game 5-5. 

The Kingsmen were able to take the lead with a game-winning goal made by Lowe with 11 seconds remaining in the game and putting the team ahead 6-5 in the fourth quarter. 

“It’s pretty exhilarating,” Lowe said after making the game-winning goal. “I knew right at that last play my defender wasn’t a senior defender, so I knew I could get and finish that block and score there.”

With a few seconds left on the clock and the crowd cheering “defense,” the Kingsmen were able to hold down the Bulldogs to take the first conference win of the season. 

Krause said that starting their conference division as 1-0 is beneficial because the team has a great starting point to build from.

“I know that we have a lot of potential as a team and it’s good that we’re getting the bad parts out first and it’s nothing but up from here,” Krause said.

Although Cal Lutheran won the game, the team’s offense struggled in passing, resulting in missed opportunities to score. 

“Every game is going to be a battle, every game is going to be a test. We have to be better shooters, if we would’ve been better shooters, I think the final score would have probably of been 15-5,” Pletcher said.

The Kingsmen are now 5-1 overall and 1-0 in conference. The Kingsmen will take on the Chapman Panthers at home on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m.