Kingsmen Drop 2OT Heartbreaker Against Bulldogs

Kevin Oetkin scored twice against Redlands (Photo: Tracy L. Olson).
Kevin Oetkin scored twice against Redlands (Photo: Tracy L. Olson).

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) men's water polo play this afternoon feature Cal Lutheran and Redlands with the host Kingsmen falling narrowly, 14-13, in double overtime to the Bulldogs at the Samuelson Aquatics Center.

In an evenly matched contest, visiting Redlands came up with the final goal in a competitive contest that needed extra playing time. Cal Lutheran outshot Redlands 38-36. UR scored on 3-for-7 power plays and CLU converted 2-for-6. Although Davy Thomas won the final sprint, the Kingsmen were unable to upend the Maroon and Gray.

Once the opening whistle blew, UR struck first following three-plus minutes of scoreless action and on the ensuing CLU possession Chris Gardhouse equalized on an assist from George Lundgren. The Bulldogs tacked on another and again, CLU tied things up on a Kevin Oetken goal. Zach Zamecki, who assisted Oetken, used his speed on a breakaway, off a pass from goalkeeper Nick Loomis, netting the go-ahead goal with 24 seconds to play in the first period.

In the second stanza, Redlands came back hot, scoring the first three goals of the frame to take a 5-3 advantage. After a timeout, Oetkin added his second score of the game, with a second assist for Lundgren, closing the gap to one. Trailing 6-4 later in the period, Lundgren got in on the scoring with his first of the day as Matt Fong found the open attacker. Down a man, the Violet and Gold defense stepped up and held the Bulldogs at bay, to go into the break separated by just one at 6-5.

Out of the intermission, Cal Lutheran knotted things up on an unassisted Zamecki goal, but UR regained its lead with goals at the 7:08 and 6:15 marks. After a Gardhouse goal at 6:01 and with 17 seconds left in the stanza, Justin English passed across the pool to George French who tipped the ball in, tying things up at 8-8. One more defensive stand sent the teams into the last quarter even.

During the final eight minutes of regulation, the teams battled, each scoring three times, from Mats Albins, Thomas and French, respectively, for CLU, to send the contest into overtime. The Kingsmen gritted down, one goal behind with four seconds to play, in a man-advantage, with Thomas finding Albins who drilled the ball to the back of the net, sending the bench and stands into cheers.

The first of two three-minute overtime periods was another back-and-forth period as each team tallied two, exchanging scores. Redlands converted a five-meter shot, adding a second while Albins both scored and assisted Gardhouse with Thomas handing out an assist as well.

During the final overtime, the only offense came from the Bulldogs, on an open CLU goal, with 49 seconds remaining. CLU had another chance, but time winded down with the Kingsmen unable to equalize again.

Overall, seven Cal Lutheran players scored, paced by a hat-trick from Gardhouse. Albins, French, Oetkin and Zamecki added a pair apiece and English and Lundgren each finished with two assists. Gardhouse drew a team-high four ejections as well.

Defensively, Loomis tallied 16 saves and Lundgren led the field players with three steals and the only field block of the day. Additionally, English, French, Fong, Gardhouse, Loomis and Taggart Diehl nabbed two steals each.

Redlands (3-9, 1-1 SCIAC) looked to Max Taylor who led all players with five goals. Aaron White added three and Spencer Allen and Jasen Swan each scored twice. Swan also handed out three assists for UR. Chris Martinez made 15 saves in front of the goal for the Bulldogs.

Cal Lutheran (4-6, 2-1) travels to Chapman on Saturday, Sept. 30 for an 11:00 a.m. first sprint against the Panthers in SCIAC action.  

Box Score: UR 14, CLU 13 (2OT)
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Release by Tracy L. Olson, Sports Information Director