Defense Holds; Kingsmen Upset Bulldogs

Andre Rivas makes a save as CLU defeats Redlands 8-7.
Andre Rivas makes a save as CLU defeats Redlands 8-7.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— Cal Lutheran's Dillon Goldsmith scored a hat trick and goalkeeper Andre Rivas recorded 13 saves as the Kingsmen water polo team upset the Redlands Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon in the Samuelson Aquatics Center.   

Cal Lutheran was No. 9 in the Men's Varsity Division III poll going into the game. Redlands was the No. 4 team as CLU pulled off the upset. The Kingsmen improved to 10-9 overall and 3-4 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). 

The outcome makes the race for the No. 3 and 4 spots in the SCIAC tournament even closer. Five teams are in play for the final two spots with just a one game separating the No. 3-7 spots. 

The Kingsmen freshmen showed they could play with top competition in the SCIAC as Goldsmith led Cal Lutheran with three goals on just four shots.

Freshman Ben Brown was next with two goals. He added two steals on defense. Seniors Justin English, Jack Kirby and sophomore Wyatt Lowe each contributed with one goal. 

The Kingsmen moved the ball well as junior George Lundgren and freshman Kyle Crist both had two assists a piece. Sophomore Hans Cole chipped in with one. 

The defense played lights. A sophomore, Rivas, was in the cage for the entire game and recorded 13 saves, including three down the stretch in the fourth quarter. 

The Violet and Gold's defense continued the stellar play as junior Matt Fong tallied a team-high three steals. Lundgren joined Brown with two steals. Sophomore Stephen Blaauw, Crist, Goldsmith and junior Seth Hightower each had one. 

Brown scored the first goal of the game. He received a pass from Lundgren, and bounced a shot under the outstretched hand of the goalie. Redlands tried to answer, but Rivas there for a save and the Bulldogs also hit the post. With 4:24 left, Redlands tied the score after a penalty shot. 

The shots kept coming, but both goalies made save after save, and the score was still 1-1 with two minutes left in the quarter. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 1:27 left in the first. Redlands added one more goal and had a 3-1 lead heading to the second. 

The Kingsmen opened the second quarter with a goal on their first possession. After a steal by Goldsmith, he was then rewarded on the offensive end and scored the goal to cut into the lead. After a timeout by CLU, a perfectly executed play had English wide open in the middle of the Redlands' defense. Cole found English with a touch-pass and English put the ball past the goalie. The Kingsmen outscored the Bulldogs 2-1 in the second quarter, but were down 4-3 at the half. 

Redlands tried to increase its lead at the beginning of the third, but the long arms of Rivas denied the shot. The Bulldogs a few more chances for goals, but Rivas there for the save every time. Cal Lutheran had a chance to tie the score with a breakaway, but the Redlands' goalie was there for the block. 

With time running down in the quarter, Fong sent an outlet pass to Brown and the Kingsmen had a breakaway. Brown converted on this breakaway and the game was tied at 4 going into the final quarter. 

Cal Lutheran took the lead for the first time since midway through the first quarter. Lowe converted on his first goal of the game with the assist coming from Crist. Redlands was quick with an answer and the score was tied at 5 with 6:08 left in the game. 

The scoring went back and forth as the Kingsmen had the answer. Crist found Kirby streaking down the middle of the pool. Kirby caught the pass and threw it into the back of the net in one fluid motion. Goldsmith put a little more distance in the game. A shot from just inside the middle of the pool put CLU up 7-5 with 3:43 left. 

Cal Lutheran continued to increase its lead as Goldsmith recorded a hat trick. With 3:03 left, he fired a shot past the goalie. Redlands started a comeback and scored two more times and the score was 8-7 with 2:03 left. The Kingsmen defeated was strong down the stretch had held off the Bulldogs for an 8-7 win. 

SCIAC play continues for the Kingsmen on the road. Cal Lutheran is back in the pool Thursday at Whittier and the game starts at 4 p.m. 

Interview with Andre Rivas and Dillon Goldsmith:

 

Box Score:CLU 8, UR 7
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director