Kingsmen Even SCIAC Record with Win
CLU storms past Beavers
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran men’s water polo earned its second straight SCIAC win to even their league record this afternoon. The Kingsmen jumped out to an 11-4 halftime lead en route to a 19-7 victory over Caltech in which three players had hat-tricks.
All 18 players who were dressed saw playing time in the pool today.
Dejan Novakovic got the scoring started with a goal on the second CLU possession of the day and the Kingsmen never looked back. Spencer McGrath, who tied teammate Graham Jameson with a game-high four goals, scored back-to-back goals in the first quarter to open a 3-0 lead. The second of his pair came by way AJ Franklin playing tough defense, forcing a shot clock violation just cross mid-pool to get the ball back. He and McGrath quickly took off on a 2-on-1 to go up 3-0.
Caltech took a timeout and were able to find the back of the net for the first time of the game immediately out of that team huddle.
CLU came back with goals from Kyle Norheim and Hunter Hamaker on assists from Nathan Ortega and George Hong, respectively, before McGrath added an unassisted score to close out the first period with a 6-1 lead. Danny Mock blocked two shots and had a steal as the starting goalie.
In the second quarter, Billy Runyon took over in front of the CLU cage where he played the second and third stanzas, recording four saves.
Cal Lutheran won the sprint and Ortega netted his first of a trio in the game. Three of the next four goals came from Jameson with the last one coming on an assist from Cesar Velazquez. Also scoring for the Kingsmen in the second was Mike Potter who grabbed a rebound off a blocked shot by Ortega and shot behind his back for the goal.
After the intermission the teams combined for just three third quarter goals. Hamaker found the back of the CIT cage for his second of the game at the 6:24 mark before McGrath added to his tally with one on the ensuing CLU possession.
Matt Baerg took over the goalkeeping duties at the start of the fourth quarter. The senior blocked a pair of shots.
In the final frame the offense did not let up, outscoring Caltech 6-2.
Franklin passed across the pool to Baldwin who scored early in the fourth before Novakovic put the Kingsmen up by 10 at 15-5 with 5:42 remaining.
Shea Craig got in on the scoring on an assist from Jameson. After an Ortega score, Craig returned the favor with assists on the final two goals of the game. He acted as the middle man on a Derek Heino to Craig to Jameson passing pattern that ended with a behind the back score from Jameson before Heino netted the final goal of the game for CLU. Caltech would add another pair before time expired.
Defensively the Kingsmen stepped up as a unit. Both Baldwin and Hamaker had a pair of field blocks while Derrick Graham and McGrath each added one with a steal. Craig and Novakovic had two steals apiece.
Overall Jameson and McGrath finished with four goals apiece while Ortega finished with three. Also adding two-goal games were Hamaker and Novakovic. Craig, Graham, Franklin and Ortega had two assists apiece.
Cal Lutheran (12-11, 3-3 SCIAC) will play for the final time of the fall at home in the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Saturday, Oct. 27 when they host Redlands at 11:00 a.m. The seniors will be recognized prior to the start of the game.