WHITTIER, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen water polo team put up a big fight, but the Whittier College Poets escaped with a 11-10 overtime victory Wednesday night in the Slade Aquatics Center in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match.
Davy Thomas led the Kingsmen offense with three goals. Wyatt Lowe added two more while Zach Zamecki, Chris Gardhouse, Taggart Diehl, Justin English and George Lundgren each had one. Matt Fong led the team on defense with three steals and Mats Albins added two more. Gardhouse led the team with three drawn exclusions. Nick Loomis was in goal for the Kingsmen and tallied 13 saves.
Both teams got on the board very quickly. Diehl was the first to score for the Kingsmen. Thomas added a goal not even a minute later as CLU took a 2-1 lead. The Kingsmen made it 3-1 as Zamecki got in on the scoring fun. Thomas scored his second goal of the game as Cal Lutheran had a 4-2 lead with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Thomas recorded a hat-trick in the first quarter and gave CLU a 5-2 lead. Lowe made it a 6-2 lead with 1:36 left in the quarter. The Poets scored a goal down the stretch and cut the lead to 6-3.
In the second quarter the defenses stepped to kept the offenses in check. Gardhouse scored the only goal for the Kingsmen. The Poets cut into the gap a little bit as the Kingsmen led 7-5 at the half. The defense continued into the third quarter as only one goal was scored. Whittier made it one-point game as they trailed 7-6.
Whittier tied up the game during its first possession of the fourth quarter as they completed the comeback. Lundgren took the lead back for the Kingsmen with his first goal and CLU was up 8-7 with 5:26 left in the game. Whittier answered a minute later and tied up the score again. CLU kept the pressure on the Poets as Lowe gave the Kinsgmen a 9-8 lead with 3:16 left. With 1:34 left in the game, Whittier tied the game at 9-9.
The game remained tied at the end of regulation and went to overtime. Whittier scored twice in the first overtime and took an 11-9 lead into the second overtime period. English got the Kingsmen going in the second overtime period and cut the lead in half at 11-10. That would be all the scoring as Whittier won the game 11-10.
Whitter's Carlos Heredia Viteri led the Poets with four goals. Aidan Tol led the squad with two assists. Murat Ersoz was in goal for the Poets and tallied 14 saves. He added four steals.
Cal Lutheran (12-13, 6-7 SCIAC) ends the regular season Saturday as the Kingsmen host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 11 a.m. for Senior Day.
Box Score: WC 11, CLU 10
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director