‘Everyone did their part’: Kingsmen Water Polo defeat Chapman in high-scoring match


Senior utility player Dillon Goldsmith is looking to pass the ball to his teammates (Photo by Lauren DeRosa-Reporter)

Lauren DeRosa, Reporter

This season, the California Lutheran University Kingsmen feel like the word that best describes their team is “resilient.” Their game against the Chapman Panthers on Wednesday, Sept. 22nd at Samuelson Aquatics Center was eventful as the Kingsmen defeated Chapman with a final score of 17-13. 

Two weeks ago in the game against the Redlands Bulldogs, the Kingsmen only beat the team by one point with 6-5 points. In this game, Chapman made it much more difficult to win.

“This team [Chapman] had a lot better playmakers, but that just means we had to step up our game as opposed to Redlands and I think we did that,” senior utility player Dillon Goldsmith said. 

This game went back and forth for most of the periods, with the Kingsmen starting play looking bleak. Cal Lutheran was trailing 3-1 with Chapman ahead until the last 60 seconds when the Kingsmen scored another point. 

“Resilience paid off in the first quarter and we came back and won the game,” Goldsmith said.

Still behind, the Kingsmen began the second period with more determination. It took five minutes to double both of the teams’ scores, lighting up the scoreboard with a 6-4 score. Each team scored one more point up until the last minute when the Kingsmen tied up the game. With 21 seconds left, the Kingsmen bleachers were shaking as they took the lead 8-7, but within another 20 secs the score was tied as time winds down to the half.

Two minutes into the third period, the Kingsmen score another two points and bring the score up to 10-8. Chapman manages to steal a point, but the Kingsmen remained ahead. 

The most exciting move of the night goes to Ben Brown, who manages to fake Chapman’s defense with a smooth swerve, ball in hand and passing it off to his teammate. The crowd was on its feet at this move, and both teams looked surprised. Even the Kingsmen coaches were jumping up and down. 

“I think we played a lot more of our type of water polo which came out in our score and our offense,” Stephen Blaauw said.

Third period ends with Chapman making a final score that brings the game to a tie for a second time. 

The Cal Lutheran faithful celebrates another victory for the Kingsmen (Photo by Lauren DeRosa-Reporter)

It only takes 58 seconds for the Kingsmen to score two points in the last period, and just 24 seconds later, the Kingsmen add on to the score to  make it 13-10.  The score is 16-13 with less than a minute left, but the offense still manages to land one more point with 35 seconds left. Andre Rivas, the team’s goalie, was one factor in keeping the Kingsmen in the lead this game. Though both teams scored many times, Rivas was keeping the Kingsmen ahead by the end of the game. 

“The five meter block is like the best feeling in the world…For those penalty shots, they’re meant to make it,” Rivas said.

The sense of synergy and mutual respect amongst the team was apparent in the way they spoke of each other. The word “resilient” was mentioned more than once by the teammates, and no one took credit for the game. 

“I think the game that we played today was great. Everyone did their part. It wasn’t just a one man game” Blauuw said. 

Next week, the Kingsmen go on the road and play Claremont Mudd Scripps on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 4:00 pm.