THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran men's water polo went 2-0 on Homecoming as the Kingsmen defeated the Caltech Beavers, 16-10, and the Austin College Kangaroos, 17-8, Saturday afternoon at the Samuelson Aquatics Center.
The Kingsmen moved two games above .500 and now are 12-10 on the year. In Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play, CLU is 4-5. The Kingsmen have five conference games left. They currently sit in the No. 6 spot in conference and are two games behind the No. 3 spot.
On the day, Seth Hightower recorded two hat tricks and totaled six goals in all. Ben Brown was next and totaled four. Jack Kirby, Wyatt Lowe and Dillon Goldsmith all had three. Taylor Garcia and Matt Fong both chipped in with two.
Brown kept the ball moving and recorded four assists. Fong was next with two. George Lundgren led the defense with four steals and Stephen Blaauw had two more. Justin English notched five drawn ejections. Parker Jory helped protect the goal with two field blocks
Jonathan Salandi was in the goal against Caltech and recorded 13 saves. Andre Rivas also split time in the goal and tallied 4 four. All four goalies played against Austin College. Rivas and Salandi made five saves each. Johnny Hirn recorded two saves and Kaleo Lee added one more.
Against Caltech, the Kingsmen jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. CLU scored the first three goals of the game and added one later on. Brown scored twice and Goldsmith and Lundgren both added one. Cal Lutheran had a shooting percentage of .500 in the quarter.
CLU opened the second quarter with a goal as Kirby scored to increase the lead. After a goal from the Beavers, CLU answered back as Kirby found the back of the net for his second goal of the day. Caltech kept the game close in the first half. Hightower put CLU back up three with a dart to the top-right corner of the goal. Goldsmith added his second goal with 44 seconds left and the Kingsmen had an 8-5 lead at the half.
Cal Lutheran opened up the lead in the third quarter. Brown and Hightower scored twice and Jory added one more as the Kingsmen led 13-6 heading into the fourth. Garcia scored twice and Lowe added another in the final quarter and CLU took the game with a score of 16-10.
Versus Austin, Lowe put the Kingsmen on the board during their first possession. Quick passing between Lowe and Fong gave Lowe the open shot. Goldsmith added to the lead a few possessions later and CLU was up 2-0. Two goals from the Kangaroos tied up the game, before Tanner Kaplan scored his first of the game to put CLU back on top. The Kingsmen had a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A breakaway got the scoring going for Cal Lutheran in the second. Rivas threw a long pass to Goldsmith who fired a shot to the upper right corner for the goal. On CLU's next possession, Brown pushed the lead to three with his first goal of the game. Fong (twice), Lowe, Hightower (twice) and English also scored in the second quarter and CLU had an 11-2 lead at the break.
The underclassmen took over in the second half for Cal Lutheran. Matt Binckley and Justin Krause got on the board to put CLU up 13-3. Jory added a goal a few plays later and CLU took a 14-3 lead to the fourth. Kirby, Hightower and Nathan March scored in the fourth as the Kingsmen won 17-8.
Up next for the Cal Lutheran is La Verne. The Kingsmen host the Leopards Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 16, CIT 10; CLU 17, AC 8
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director