PASADENA, Calif. - At the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships over the weekend, hosted by Caltech at Pasadena City College, the Cal Lutheran men's water polo team went 3-1 against the competition to claim fifth place.
CLU def. CIT 15-6
In the first game of the weekend, the Kingsmen went up against host Caltech in a play-in game on Friday. After the Beavers got on the board first, CLU put the game away with 10 unanswered goals to take a 10-1 lead at the half. The two teams were even with five goals apiece in the second half, but the Kingsmen lead was too much for Caltech to overcome.
10 different players scored in the game for CLU and Zack Card led the way with a hat-trick. Mats Albins, Chris Gardhouse, and Taggart Diehl pitched in two goals apiece while Gardhouse led the team with four drawn ejections, four steals and three assists. Card and George French each tallied three steals and Nick Loomis finished with six saves in the cage while adding one steal.
PP def. CLU 21-12
In the second game on Friday, the Kingsmen went up against top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer and fell 21-12 in a high scoring contest. The Sagehens jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after the first quarter and extended it to an 11-5 advantage at the half. Pomona-Pitzer outscored CLU 6-3 in the third period to put the game out of reach. 10 different Sagehens scored in the game and Adam Ward led the way with four goals.
Card tied Ward with a game-high four goals to lead CLU while Gardhouse and Davy Thomas added two goals apiece. Thomas also drew four ejections to lead the team and Gardhouse and French finished with three steals each. Loomis came away with 15 saves in the game.
CLU def. LV 9-8
Battling for a chance to play in the fifth place game, the Kingsmen rallied in the fourth quarter for a come-from-behind 9-8 victory on Saturday. Locked at 4-4 at halftime, the Leopards came out with four goals in the third quarter to take an 8-4 lead entering the fourth. Ben Russell and Kevin Oetken each scored two goals in-a-row to tie the game before Card provided the game-winner with 2:58 remaining.
Gardhouse joined Oetken and Russell with two goals to lead CLU while Rey Julian Castillo had a game-high seven goals for La Verne. Gardhouse was a force to be reckoned with in the critical match as he racked up six steals along with five drawn ejections. Loomis finished with 11 saves.
CLU def. CU 11-8
In the final game of the weekend, with fifth-place on the line, the Kingsmen used a big second quarter to take an early lead and held on for an 11-8 win. With the score tied at 1-1 after the first quarter, Card along with Diehl and Camron Hauer combined for four goals to give CLU a 5-2 lead at the break. Both teams scored three goals apiece in the third and fourth quarters as the Kingsmen were able to hold off any attempted rally from the Panthers.
Card wrapped up a dominant weekend with another game-high of four goals while Thomas pitched in a pair and seven total Kingsmen scored. CLU showed high energy on the defensive end all game long and finished with 18 steals. French and Hauer tallied four apiece while Gardhouse and Thomas finished with three. Loomis recorded eight saves in the cage.
Cal Lutheran finishes the season with an overall record of 13-13 and 5-7 in conference play.