Regals Pick Up Win At Indiana University Classic

Senior Kristi McGee scored a hat trick in the first game of the tournament. Sophomore Jayci Burrell also scored twice in the contest against Washington and Jefferson. The Regals will return to conference play next week when they take on Redlands. Photo by Saoud Albuanain- Photojournalist
Senior Kristi McGee scored a hat trick in the first game of the tournament. Sophomore Jayci Burrell also scored twice in the contest against Washington and Jefferson. The Regals will return to conference play next week when they take on Redlands.
Photo by Saoud Albuanain- Photojournalist

California Lutheran University’s women’s water polo team picked up another win March 3, defeating Mercyhurst University at 5:30 p.m. in the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center. The Regals defeated the Division II opponent by a final score of 7-5 and went 2-0 on day one of the Indiana University Classic in Bloomington, Indiana.

Earlier in the afternoon, the team defeated Washington and Jefferson College 17-1. This was a busy weekend for the team, as they competed in four different games over the course of the weekend. Sophomore attacker Christin Hirn, junior utility Nicole Roed, sophomore center Victoria Rose Meek and senior attacker Sam Wulfesteig scored and assisted in field blocks throughout the course of the game.

“This trip gave us the opportunity to play against new and challenging teams. We always have team bonding activities planned. Our coach likes these trips to be beneficial to our team chemistry which improves our play. On Friday, we went on a local hike, walked around Bloomington, which is a really cool college town and shot some free throws in the famous Assembly Hall,” Roed said. 

During the first quarter of the game, Hirn scored the first goal in the attacker position. Roed put in the second goal at the end of the first quarter. This tied the game at 2-2.

“As a team, we all play well together and know our teammates have our backs if we need it. However, we are working on our consistency and finding more opportunities on offense through all four quarters. Our coaches certainly encouraged us to make this a goal for this weekend’s games,” said sophomore attacker Mackenzie Thomas.

The team gained momentum in the second quarter as Wulfestieg and Hirn scored two goals. The team advanced to the third quarter with a score of 4-4. 

A strong defense was played by the team with several blocks by junior goalkeeper Bailey Meyer in the third quarter. The game remained tied at halftime at 4-4. Meyer had an impressive performance with 12 saves as she protected the cage for the entirety of the game. The opposing team took the lead and scored a goal at the end of the third quarter for a close score at 4-5.

The Regals fought hard in the final quarter. The final minutes of the game came to a swift end as Wulfesteig successfully launched two goals. Meek added two goals of her own to officially close the game giving Cal Lutheran a 7-5 win.

Defense played a key role in the Regals’ win against the Mercyhurst Lakers. Senior central defender Kristi McGee was an anchor in the Cal Lutheran defense for the entirety of the weekend.

“Our defense drives our games and it definitely helped us finish today with a win. It is probably our biggest strength, and buying into our system of play. Although we did not make all our shots, we kept trusting in each other and eventually got the job done,” McGee said.

The team is currently 7-2 in their 2018 spring season and have defeated two Division II opponents this year. With more than half of their games still ahead of them, the Regals will look to improve upon their already impressive record in their conference games.

“We are looking forward to growing and learning from every game this season, and leaving everything we have in the pool. Right now we are focusing on one game at a time and playing our absolute best,” Roed said.

The Cal Lutheran women’s water polo team played a second doubleheader Sunday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to close out the Indiana University Classic. They dropped the final two games to Marist College and Virginia Military Institute by the scores of 5-3 and 11-8.

The Red Foxes got out to an early 5-1 lead in the first game of day two. They Regals were unable to make up the deficit despite scoring on a power play and a penalty shot. In the final game of the tournament, the Regals played from behind for most of the match, but finally fell to the Keydets.

This was the final tournament until the Regals enter the bulk of their annual Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule. After opening their confernece games with a win over Occidental College, Cal Lutheran will play the University of Redlands Bulldogs March 7 at 4 p.m. The team is building their stamina and mental strength to play their best for each game.

Kendra Salo
Reporter