California Lutheran University men’s water polo team hosted its first home game this season Sept. 15. The Kingsmen took on University of California, San Diego in their third game of the season.
The Kingsmen got on the board early in the first period with a goal by sophomore center forward Mats Albins. Junior defender Chris Gardhouse also scored during the first period, putting Cal Lutheran in the lead 2-0. UCSD responded with two quick goals of their own, tying the game 2-2. The teams traded off shots at the goal but both teams played strong defense. The Tritons were able to score a goal in the final minute, making the score 3-2 at the end of the first period.
In the second period, senior utility Camron Hauer scored the first and only Kingsmen goal of the period which made the score 3-3. UCSD went on a 4-0 run in the second period, making the score 7-3 Tritons going into halftime.
“I feel like we did a lot of things right but that we also have a lot of things to work on. UC San Diego is one of the top teams in the country,” Gardhouse said. “I think we’ve learned that we can battle through some pretty tough teams and all we need to do is put four quarters together and we should be good.”
UCSD started the third period with a 5-0 run until freshman attacker George Lundgren scored a goal for Cal Lutheran. Hauer also scored a goal for the Kingsmen in the third period, making the score 12-5. Senior attacker Zack Card responded with a goal of his own, ending the period with a score of 13-6.
“It’s definitely setting the bar, making it so we really know how hard we can push ourselves so once it comes to SCIAC [Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference] teams we should be ready,” junior goalkeeper Nick Loomis said.
The Kingsmen were shut out in the fourth period while the Tritons added five more to the score, putting the final at 6-18 UCSD.
“We just told the guys we have to be more coordinated on offense. I felt like our offense was just scattered today, I don’t think we knew who was doing what. We need to do a better job over the weekend identifying who does what,” Head Coach Craig Rond said. “You have to be pretty good to play this team. They’re a division two school and a high ranked division two school so we wanna play tough teams to work out kinks and get better as a team.”
The next stop for the Kingsmen will be New London, Connecticut to compete in the Connecticut College Invitational Sept. 17-18. Cal Lutheran will go up against Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Iona (N.Y.) Sept. 17 at 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively. The Kingsmen will finish their trip with two matches Sept. 18 against Penn-State Behrend at 7 a.m. and the host Connecticut College at 10:15 a.m.