THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran men's water polo team put up a fight, but the Chapman Panthers survived and trumped the Kingsmen 8-7 in a competitive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (SCIAC) matchup Wednesday afternoon in the Samuelson Aquatics Center.
Both teams were held quiet for the first three minutes before Chapman scored the first goal of the game. Cal Lutheran goalkeeper Nick Loomis and Chapman's Wesley Hertel both tallied 2 saves each during the opening stretch. Mats Albins got the Kingsmen on the board midway through the first and cut the Panthers' lead to 2-1. Chapman added another goal with 20 seconds left in the quarter to take a 3-1 lead.
Justin English scored the first goal of the second quarter with 5:14 left in the half. The Kingsmen had a breakaway as English went straight at the goalie and then fired it into the back of the net to cut the lead to 3-2. With two minutes left in the half, Davy Thomas made a fantastic move to get behind his defender, Matt Fong found the open man, and Thomas finished the play with his first goal of the game. A minute later, Thomas scored the equalizer and the game was tied at the half 4-4.
Chapman scored first in the second half to take back the lead. Hans Cole tied the game back up with 4:03 left in the quarter. Chapman scored one more goal before the end of the quarter. The Kingsmen had chances, but hit the post twice, and were down 6-5 going to the fourth.
With a close game in the fourth quarter, Loomis came up with a big save to keep the game at a one possession game. On the ensuing play, Taggart Diehl tied up the game with 5:18 left to play. A little bit later, Chapman's Bennett Royce scored a no-look goal as he made a spin move, went under the water, and then threw the ball into the goal for a 7-6 lead. On its next possession, Chapman made it 8-6. With 2:03 left in the game, Chris Gardhouse cut the lead to one at 8-7. The Kingsmen defense was stellar down the stretch which gave the offense a chance to win the game. Cal Lutheran called a timeout with 37 second left a drew up a play. The Violet and Gold fired a shot off the cross bar and got it back for another chance. Chapman's goalie had the last say as the Panthers held on and won 8-7.
Thomas led the squad with two goals and Gardhouse had two assists. George French led the defense with three saves. Loomis made 19 saves and had a save percentage of .708.
The Kingsmen (12-12, 6-6 SCIAC) are back in the water Nov. 8 for a matchup with Whittier at 4 p.m.
Box Score: CU 8, CLU 7
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director