Defense Shuts Down La Verne in Fourth; Kingsmen Keep Pace in SCIAC Race

George Lundgren scored four goals as the Kingsmen defeated La Verne, 13-11.
George Lundgren scored four goals as the Kingsmen defeated La Verne, 13-11.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran men's water polo team needed its defense to step up in the fourth and the Kingsmen did just that as they sent back shot after shot over the final 4:58 and took down the La Verne Leopards, 13-11, Wednesday afternoon at the Samuelson Aquatics Center. 

The Kingsmen stayed hot and won their third straight game. They have won eight of their last 10 games and scored double-digits in all but one. CLU improved to 13-10 on the year and 5-5 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play. The Kingsmen are one game back of the fourth spot in the SCIAC.

George Lundgren led the offense with four goals. He was big on the defensive end as well and recorded two field blocks. 

Ben Brown recorded a hat trick and scored his three goals on only five shots. He had an all-around game and added two steals and one assist, drawn ejection and field block.

Dillon Goldsmith and Wyatt Lowe chipped in with two goals apiece and Matt Fong and Tanner Kaplan each added one. Goldsmith gave the offense plenty of power play opportunities as he tallied seven drawn ejections. Fong added three field blocks and two assists to his stat line.

Andre Rivas was in goal for the Kingsmen. He protected the cage with 11 saves, and made several down the final stretch of the fourth quarter. He added three steals and one assist. 

Cal Lutheran was impressive on power play opportunities and converted on seven of their 13 tries. La Verne was only 3-of-7 on the day.

Cal Lutheran opened the game with a goal on their first possession and set the tone for the match as Brown converted on his first shot. The teams exchanged goals throughout the rest of the quarter and the Kingsmen had a 3-2 lead at the end of one. Lundgren and Jory both added a goal in the first.

The Kingsmen started the scoring in the second quarter as Goldsmith found Lowe for the goal. CLU outscored the Leopards 3-2, again, and had a 6-4 lead at the half. Brown and Kaplan both converted on their shots, with the assists coming from Lundgren and Fong. 

After La Verne scored the first goal of the third quarter, Cal Lutheran fired right back. CLU improved to 4-of-8 on power play opportunities with the goal as Brown recorded his hat trick. Goldsmith drew the ejection that gave Cal Lutheran the advantage and the Kingsmen were up 7-5. 

The Kingsmen then scored back-to-back goals as Goldsmith and Lundgren increased the lead. La Verne didn't back down and scored four unanswered goals and tied the game at 9 with 1:44 left in the third. CLU stopped the run as Goldsmith converted on a penalty shot. La Verne added one more goal and the game was tied at 10 going into the fourth. 

The scoring was hard to come by in the fourth quarter. Fong put the Kingsmen up, but the Leopards were right there with an answer. Cal Lutheran used great ball movement for its next goal as four different players touched the ball during the possession. The ball finally got to Lowe who had a clear shot for the goal.

With 3:11 left in the game, Lundgren bounced a shot under La Verne's goalie and gave CLU a 13-11 lead. La Verne had its chances to score on its next possessions, but Rivas and the defense were there for the stop every time. The Kingsmen held off La Verne the rest of the way and took the game with a final score of 13-11.

The Kingsmen continue their SCIAC playoff push on the road. Cal Lutheran is at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday with the match starting at 11 a.m.

Interview with George Lundgren and Matt Fong

Box Score: CLU 13, ULV 11
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director

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