Kingsmen Go 2-0 on Day Two; Defeat Fresno Pacific and McKendree

Tanner Kaplan scored one goal in each game as CLU defeated Fresno Pacific 13-11 and McKendree 15-13. (Photo: Claire Caldera)
Tanner Kaplan scored one goal in each game as CLU defeated Fresno Pacific 13-11 and McKendree 15-13. (Photo: Claire Caldera)

CLAREMONT, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran men's water polo team swept the competition Saturday, defeating Fresno Pacific 13-11 and McKendree 15-13, on day two of the Gary Troyer Invite.

The tournament was hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer. The Kingsmen have now won three straight games and four of their last five, with the loss coming to a Division I team. CLU improved to 5-7 on the year as they look to gain momentum for the rest of the season. 

Cal Lutheran vs. Fresno Pacific
The Kingsmen found themselves in a quick hole as the Sunbirds scored the first three goals of the game and had the lead with 2:41 left in the first. Cal Lutheran stepped up their game and scored two goals in the final minute to make it a one-point game at the end of the first. Hans Cole and Tanner Kaplan put the Kingsmen on the board. 

CLU brought it full circle, scoring the first goal of the game and completed the comeback, as Parker Jory scored with 6:17 left in the half. Both teams scored two more goals in the quarter as the game was tied 5-5 at the half. The Sunbirds started the third period just like the first as they took a three-point lead. Cal Lutheran answered again and trailed 8-7 heading to the fourth. 

The Kingsmen finally took their first lead, as Ben Brown scored one of his hat trick goals, and put his team up 9-8 with 5:13 left. The score continued to be tight as the teams were tied at 9 and then 10. CLU was able to get some breathing room at the end as Brown and  Cole Weiderman put the Kingsmen up 12-10. Dillon Goldsmith put the finishing touch on the game, scoring with 49 seconds left, as CLU prevailed 13-11. 

Brown led the offense with his hat trick and Goldsmith, Wyatt Lowe, Jory and Weiderman added two apiece. Brown showed off his offensive skill set and dished out a team-high three assists while Weiderman put the offense in good position as he drew four ejections. 

Andre Rivas in the goal and was impressive one penalty shot blocked and he also blocked two breakaways. Altogether, he tallied six saves, two steals and one assist. 

Cal Lutheran vs. McKendree
The Kingsmen opened the game with a goal as Jory put CLU on the board first. The teams exchanged goals the rest of the quarter and the Kingsmen took a 4-3 lead to the second quarter. 

Cal Lutheran opened up its lead in the second as Justin Krause and Kaplan scored back-to-back goals to give the Kingsmen a 6-3 lead. McKendree added two goals before the CLU added one more and the Kingsmen had a 7-5 lead at the break. 

CLU held the advantage in the third and kept their 2-point lead heading to the fourth. With the score 10-8, the Kingsmen started the fourth with a goal and took a sizable lead with 7:39 left in the game. Cal Lutheran kept the points coming and went 2-0 on the day after defeating McKendree 

Brown was the leading score for the second straight game and recorded his second hat trick of the day. Eleven more Kingsmen scored as the ball was shared around well. Matt BinckleySeth Hightower, Krause and Weiderman all dished out two assists each. All 18 field players saw time in the pool as Kingsmen, you and old, all got experience.  

CLU also had four different goalies in the cage. Jonathan Salandi made three saves, Ethan Wlaschin matched him with three and Jackson Bottenberg and Kaleo Lee made two apiece as the quartet combined for the win

Before jumping back into conference play, the Kingsmen will host Austin and Ottawa (Ariz.) on Thursday at 12 and 4 p.m., respectively. 

Box Score: CLU 13, FPU 11CLU 15, MU 13
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director