No. 3 Regals Pick Up Two Wins

Senior Kristi McGee tallied nine goals on Saturday. Photo by Saoud Albuainain- Photojournalist
Senior Kristi McGee tallied nine goals on Saturday.
Photo by Saoud Albuainain- Photojournalist

The California Lutheran University women’s water polo team picked up two wins on Feb. 2, defeating Carthage College and California State University Monterey Bay at the Samuelson Aquatic Center.

The Regals defeated Carthage by a score of 12-4. Six different Regals scored, while junior utility Nicole Roed, junior utility Megan Seeman and senior attacker Sam Wulfestieg each scored two apiece. Senior defender Kristie McGee scored four goals, a trend that would continue to the next game.

In the second game of the double header, the Regals defeated the Otters 6-2. McGee continued her prolific scoring, chipping in five goals. That brought her total to nine goals on the day. McGee said her scoring was due to her teammates setting her up and creating open shots for her.

“Water polo is a funny sport. If one or two people try and be the star, it doesn’t really work. I had a lot of help from my teammates,” McGee said.

The scoring got started by McGee in the second quarter after coming out of a time out. Early on, the team spread the ball around and got everyone involved. McGee went on to torch the Otters’ defense for three more goals before halftime.

Cal Lutheran’s defense was very good starting from the beginning. Head Coach Craig Rond said the defense was a major reason they won both games.

“I think what’s setting us apart is our defense, our ability to press and trust the press, our ability to play team defense. Everyone is just playing team ball,” Rond said.

At the half, the Regals held a 4-0 lead over the Otters. Junior goalkeeper Bailey Meyer made several tough steals to maintain a shutout at the half.

The scoring started in the third quarter with a long-distance goal scored by CSMB. The Regals answered right back with a goal by sophomore attacker Christin Hirn.

The Regals entered the fourth quarter with a 5-1 lead over the Otters.

After both teams failed to score for about the first two minutes of the quarter, both teams scored within one minute of each other. CSMB struck first with 3:24 to go in the game. Cal Lutheran answered back a minute later with another goal by McGee. Teamwork helped defeat the Otters 6-2.

The Regals entered the day being ranked No. 3 in the country by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, according to Rond said the high ranking by the NCAA comes with added responsibilities.

“The expectations are high for this team, the way they came out today, everybody can see it,” Rond said.

The Regals will have three weeks to get ready for the Tina Finali Invitational hosted at the Samuelson Aquatic Center. Four other universities will take part in the invitational.

“In three weeks, we have a big tournament. We’re going to condition more, definitely going to swim more yardage,” Seeman said.

McGee agreed and said teamwork was vital for the future success of the team.

“As long as we keep buying into that system and working as a team and improving, I think we’ll have a great season,” McGee said.

The Regals will host the two-day Tina Finali Invitational at the Samuelson Aquatic Center starting on Feb. 23 at 11:15 a.m. against Azusa Pacific University.

Manuel Lira