THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — On a record setting day for senior Nick Loomis at the Samuelson Aquatics Center, turnovers were too costly for the Cal Lutheran men's water polo team, which fell, 10-7, to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)-leading Whittier this afternoon.
Loomis finished with three saves to take over the top all-time saves spot with 655, breaking the mark of 654 set by Quinten Beckmann between 2004-07. He recorded a single-season record 284 in 2016 and had 233 saves in 2015 to go along with two as a freshman and now 136 to date during his final campaign.
The start of the game was promising for the Kingsmen as Kevin Oetken and George French connected for the first goal of the game just before Loomis surpassed the previous school record for saves in a career in the first quarter. Chris Gardhouse scored a second goal at the 2:51 mark of the first frame to give CLU a 2-0 lead. With under two minutes to play, Whittier punched in three goals to take a lead. A Poets player hit the crossbar and the ricochet went right to a teammate who promptly pushed the ball into the far left corner of the cage to cut the deficit in half. A pair of five-meter conversation by Justin Contreras with 33 and three seconds to play, respectively, gave the Poets a 3-2 advantage and the momentum after the first eight minutes. Gardhouse evened things on a five-meter goal, but Whittier controlled the second stanza, taking a 7-3 advantage at the intermission.
Out of the break, Whittier tacked on two goals in the third and Zach Zamecki added to the CLU tally with one quarter to play. In the fourth, Zamecki notched another at the 2:46 mark and Jack Kirby chipped in with a score with 1:32 to play. Though Taggart Diehl found the back of the net just as time expired, the deficit was too much to overcome too late in the contest.
Jake Venckus did the goalkeeping in the second half, recording five saves. The goalkeeping pair of Loomis and Venckus combined for three takeaways as well. French finished with a team-leading three steals and both Mats Albins and Andre Laserna recorded a field block.
Offensively, CLU was paced by Gardhouse and Zamecki with a pair of goals apiece while Diehl, Kirby and French each added one as well. Oetken and Justin English accounted for the two assists and Gardhouse drew six of the 11 exclusions for the Kingsmen.
Whittier (10-9, 6-0 SCIAC) outshot Cal Lutheran 30-16 though the Kingsmen converted three power-play goals while surrendering just one. Ultimately, 19 turnovers cost the Violet and Gold too many offensive opportunities.
Cal Lutheran (8-9, 2-3) travels to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday, Oct. 14 to face the Stags at 11:00 a.m.
Box Score: WC 10, CLU 7
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Release by Tracy L. Olson, Sports Information Director