CLAREMONT, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran men's water polo team won its fourth straight game and pulled off an upset as the Kingsmen defeated the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags, 8-7, Saturday afternoon in Axelrod pool.
The Kingsmen improved to 6-5 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play. They are currently one game back of the fourth spot in the SCIAC and two games behind third-place. CLU won its fourth straight game, and six of its last seven, and are 14-10 on the year.
Cal Lutheran's defense stepped up when it was called upon and shut out the Stags in the fourth quarter. Andre Rivas was protecting the cage and tallied nine saves and one steal.
Offensively, Brown recorded a hat trick. He added three assists and two drawn ejections. Wyatt Lowe added two goals and Crist, Goldsmith and Lundgren each had one.
The defenses set the tone early in the game as the score was tied at 2 at the end of the first quarter. Cal Lutheran had the opening goal as Brown scored on the Kingsmen's first possession. A few plays later, Lowe made it 2-0 as CLU had a quick lead. The Stags were there to answer and scored two goals during the rest of the quarter.
CMS took its first lead of the game, 3-2, with 6:30 left in the second quarter. After an exclusion on the Stags, Cal Lutheran took a timeout as they looked to capitalize on the power play opportunity. The Kingsmen had a shot, but it was blocked by the defense.
The Stags added to their lead a little bit later and were up 4-2. CLU didn't back down and added two goals of their own as Brown notched his second and Crist scored his first. Cal Lutheran had the final say at the end of the half as Goldsmith scored with four seconds left to give the Kingsmen a 5-4 lead at the half.
In the second half, CLU looked to increase its lead. Cal Lutheran got things going first, but the Stags scored on the ensuing possession to keep a one-point game. Brown scored his third goal and recorded a hat trick. With 3:37 left in the third, CLU had a power play opportunity and took advantage of the situation as Lundgren put the Kingsmen up 7-5.
The game continued to be tight as CMS added two goals over the final minute and a half and the score was tied going to the fourth.
The defense came alive at the start of the fourth and shut down the offenses for the first two and a half minutes. After an exclusion by the Stags, the Kingsmen called a timeout to set up a play. CLU had a good look, but Blaauw's shot hit the post. Lowe was a beast in the middle of the pool on offense. He was able to shield his defender as he received a pass. He fired the ball into the back of the net for an 8-7 lead for CLU with 3:43 left in the game.
The Stags called a timeout to try and regroup. They were able to get two shots off. The first was a field block by the Kingsmen defense and the second was a save by Rivas. CMS took another timeout with 51 seconds left as the Stags looked to tie the game. The Kingsmen defense stepped up in the end as Brown made a steal. CMS had one last chance, however, the game was sealed with a block by Rivas. CLU held on and won the game 8-7.
The Kingsmen look to continue their redemption run on Wednesday. Cal Lutheran will be at Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday and the game is set for 4 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 8, CMS 7
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director