Kingsmen Water Polo snap Redlands’ two-game conference win streak


Photo by Marcel Hurtubise - Reporter

The Kingsmen Water Polo team won a home game for the first time this season against the Redland Bulldogs.

Marcel Hurtubise, Reporter

Ahead of a hectic schedule, Cal Lutheran men’s water polo faced the Redland Bulldogs in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Kingsmen, who have 14 games in the upcoming five weeks, took the Bulldogs off a two-game conference win streak, beating them 9-7 on Wednesday, Oct. 5. 

Head Coach Cody Pletcher was hopeful for the future and in good spirits about the Kingsmen’s performance.

“We were working on offensive efficiency… I’m gonna give it a solid B, B+ and that’s what we’re trying to grow on. And a 9-7 victory in conference is always something to be proud of,”  Pletcher said. 

Senior left-attacker Ben Brown started off the game with the first goal, and the Bulldogs were unable to tie the game after that. Senior utility player Dillon Goldsmith scored the second goal, doubling the Kingsmen’s lead less than two minutes after Brown’s.

In the second quarter, junior attacker Adam Dow and senior attacker David Brandt added to the Kingsmen’s lead with Brown ending the quarter off with a five-meter penalty shot called in the last second. 

The third quarter came with three more goals by sophomore Lincoln Hall, junior attacker Justin Boals and senior attacker Taylor Garcia. 

However, after scoring one goal in each quarter of the first half, the Bulldogs began to pick up steam with three goals of their own during the third quarter. 

In the last quarter, the Kingsmen began to have trouble with the Bulldog’s aggressive defense, but Brandt scored one last goal to secure the win for Cal Lutheran.

“I credit the ‘dogs for stepping up their defense. They ran a very hardcore press,” Pletcher said. “So we have to grow when a team actually gets heavier in their press and tunes up their defense.”

Brown helped lead the offense with two goals, two steals and two assists during the match. He credited the Bulldogs for their aggressive defense, but said the Kingsmen stuck to their gameplan in a “right to the nose” game.

First-year Bo DuBois continues to improve as the Kingsmen’s goalie. 

“It felt really good to come back and be there the whole game,” DuBois said.

DuBois managed a save percentage of .533—an increase from the last conference match against Pomona-Pitzer. DuBois also saved eight shots and stole the ball three times. 

This game marks the beginning of a long set of SCIAC games for the Kingsmen, with multiple games a week. However, DuBois is confident in their preparation and credits Pletcher for it.

“With the way that Pletch prepares us at practice, we’re going to be okay. Early season we did a lot of conditioning because our schedule was tight like this,” DuBois said.

Brown, being a senior, has had experience with tight schedules like the one the Kingsmen face this year.

“We take SCIAC games very seriously,” Brown said. “We stick to the game plan for each team and move forward.”

Pletcher is looking forward to the growth of the team and the program.

“Everybody has a chance at any given time to show us what they’re made of in a game. But I think that the structure of how we do things on a day-to-day basis and the process of our practices is really helping us to grow holistically as a team,” Pletcher said.

The victory over Redlands meant the Kingsmen improved to 2-1 in conference play this season, putting them in fourth place in the SCIAC standings. 

With a large incoming class, Brown is confident in the future of the program.

“This team is pretty brand new, there’s a lot of young guys who are trying to step up, pushing the older guys. So, yeah, this program has definitely a bright future,” Brown said.

The Kingsmen’s upcoming matches are this week in the Cal Baptist Invitational against California Baptist University and Santa Clara University on Saturday, Oct. 8.