Kingsmen Water Polo’s comeback efforts halted by Chapman’s Panthers


Photo by Marcel Hurtubise - Reporter

The Kingsmen’s busy October saw them play 11 games in a span of one month.

Marcel Hurtubise, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s Kingsmen water polo team fell to the Chapman Panthers 13-14 in a tightly contested game, as they approach the end of a busy month of practices and games. 

The loss brings the Kingsmen’s record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to 4-3, placing them in a three-way tie with Redlands and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for third place in the standings. It also ends a two-game winning streak in conference games.

“Last weekend, Westcliff was a good game. We went into overtime, obviously winning, so we felt very good after that,” senior attacker Taylor Garcia said. “Chapman is known to be very sporadic, so we prepared for that…But I just felt like we were just a little lethargic and they were reacting faster than us.”

The game started out with first-year goalie Bo DuBois blocking shots from Chapman, however, the offense was unable to capitalize and pull ahead, ending the first quarter down 3-4. Goals were scored by junior attacker Adam Dow, senior attacker David Brandt and first-year attacker Bryan Lynch.

“I feel like mentally we were not there in the first quarter. We didn’t come out with our normal energy and it kinda showed,” DuBois said.

Senior left-attacker Ben Brown scored a goal early in the second quarter and senior utility Dillon Goldsmith managed two goals within one minute of each other, but that wasn’t enough as the Kingsmen’s offensive troubles continued.

“You can definitely tell we came out flat, as we are usually never down in our first half,” Brandt said.

Similar issues arose in the third quarter, as Cal Lutheran found the net twice by Brown and sophomore utility Johnny Wotawa, but the goals were not enough to bring the two teams level.

In the last quarter, the Kingsmen picked up steam and were able to score five goals against Chapman’s two. Despite the late resurgence, which began following another goal from Brown, Cal Lutheran lost the race against the clock, ending the game 13-14. 

“Fourth quarter showed that if we kept that pace the whole game it would have been a different outcome,” Garcia said.

Brandt said he believes a multitude of factors came into play, including players being out due to sickness, fatigue and midterms. 

“We’ve had players go out that were really key players and we had to completely play without them. So we’ve had to change our entire gameplan,” Brandt said. “Our team motto is ‘the next guy up,’ so even if we’re down with our key players, somebody’s gotta step up.”

The Kingsmen have four games remaining before their SCIAC tournament after the Chapman match, and they are going to begin tapering off from hard training.

Looking forward, DuBois said he believes the rematch against Chapman on Saturday, Nov. 12, will be different as long as they fix what went wrong in this game. 

“We play them at their house next time and we know they’re gonna have a super loud crowd,” DuBois said. “The rest of it is doing what we didn’t do today.” 

Brandt believes that everyone has a chance to step up as a key player in the coming games.

“There’s been other players that have stepped up like number 20 [sophomore attacker Cormac Flanders] last game,” Brandt said. “So I would actually watch our entire team as we all have our opportunities to play.”

The Kingsmen face Redland, one of the teams they are tied with in the SCIAC standings, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.