LA VERNE, Calif.— It was all about defense Saturday morning at the Las Flores Pool as the La Verna Leopards handed the Cal Lutheran men's water polo team its first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) loss by a final score of 7-4.
The Kingsmen (4-4, 1-1 SCIAC) had their chances to score, but couldn't find the back of the net. CLU took 33 shots, but had a shooting percentage of .121. La Verne (2-8, 1-1) wasn't much better as the Leopards took 26 and had a percentage of .269.
Both teams were just as bad when it came to power plays and were a combined 3-for-14. The Kingsmen converted two and La Verne made one.
It was the lowest scoring output for the Kingsmen so far this season as they only mustered four goals. Dillon Goldsmith tallied two and Justin English and Justin Krause both added one. Six Kingsmen tallied at least one drawn ejection with Ben Brown leading the pack with two.
Defense came into play early and often between the Kingsmen and Leopards. The game saw the first five a half minutes go by without a goal. Goldsmith finally got CLU on the board as he fired a shot into the back of the net. La Verne was there with an answer on their ensuing possession. That was all the scoring in the first quarter as the teams were tied at 1.
In the second quarter, it was ULV that scored first as the Leopards took their first lead. They added another goal on their next possession and were up 3-1 with 6 minutes left in the half. The back-to-back goals forced Cal Lutheran to use a timeout. The Kingsmen offense was shut out in the second quarter, while the Leopards added one more goal down the stretch and had a 4-1 lead at the break.
The La Verne defense continued to swarm CLU in the second half. The Leopards then added another goal to their count and had a 5-1 lead three minutes into the third quarter. Krause added the second goal for the Kingsmen as he scored with 1:04 left in the third. The game continued to be a low-scoring affair as CLU was down 6-2 at the end of three.
English got the Kingsmen a little bit closer and cut ULV's lead in half. With 5:08 left in the game, CLU was only down 6-3. Goldsmith almost got the Kingsmen closer as his shot hit the post. Goldsmith then converted on his next attempt and Cal Lutheran got even closer, only trailing 6-4 with 3:13 left. Hitting the post continued to be a trend for the Kingsmen as Tanner Kaplan nailed the post on his shot. The furious rally was a little too late for the Kingsmen as La Verne held on for the 7-4 win.
Cal Lutheran returns home for a non-conference match Sunday at noon. The Kingsmen host Division I opponent, Air Force, at the Samuelson Aquatics Center.
Box Score: ULV 7, CLU 4
CLU Instagram: CLUSports
Sport IG: kingsmen_water_polo
CLU Twitter: CLUSports
Sport Twitter: CLUmWaterPolo
CLU Facebook: CLUSports
Hashtags: #clusports #ownthethrone #goregals #gokingsmen #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director