MALIBU, Calif.— Cal Lutheran men's water polo competed in two non-conference games on Sunday afternoon as they took on the Pepperdine Waves and the Concordia-Irvine Eagles at the Pepperdine Invite.
Pepperdine is the No. 5 team in Division I and Concordia-Irvine is Division II, as the Kingsmen faced tough opponents before finishing their season with Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play. The Kingsmen battled as they were defeated by the Waves 15-8 and the Eagles 19-16.
Against Pepperdine, and top-notch competition, Ben Brown led the way with an impressive four goals and four assists against a stingy Waves' defense. Four more Kingsmen were able to find the net as Hans Cole, Tanner Kaplan,Wyatt Loweand George Lundgren all scored against the No. 5 team in Division I.
The Kingsmen set themselves up in good situations with nine power play opportunities, but could only convert on three of them. Cole Weiderman tallied the most with four and Dillon Goldsmith was next with three. Jonathan Salandi and Jackson Bottenberg split time in the cage for CLU. Salandi made eight saves, recorded two steals and dished out an assist while Bottenberg matched him with eight saves.
Cal Lutheran kept the first half close with the Waves and trailed by just one-point, 4-3, after the first quarter. Pepperdine doubled their score in the second quarter, and held Cal Lutheran to two goals to take an 8-5 lead at the half. The Waves opened up the game in the third, outscoring the Kingsmen 5-1. Pepperdine coasted the rest of the way and claimed the game.
Versus Concordia-Irvine, Goldsmith scored a team-high six goals, Brown added a hat trick and Kaplan and Weiderman had two each. Brown continued his great passing and notched seven assists. Wyatt Lowe and Parker Jory tallied three drawn ejections each as CLU was 5-for-9 on power play opportunities.
Andre Rivas and Bottenberg both spent time in the goal. Rivas was in for three quarters and made nine saves, two steals and one assist. Bottenberg came in for the fourth and made two saves.
The Kingsmen kept the game close in the first half as each team scored five in the first quarter, but CLU was outscored 4-2 in the second. Concordia-Irvine made their move in the third quarter as the Eagles scored eight points to Cal Lutheran's four and took a 17-11 lead to the fourth. The margin allowed the Eagles to take the game, even though the Kingsmen scored five goals in the fourth as their comeback fell short.
Cal Lutheran (12-10, 5-5 SCIAC) has four conference games left in the season. Perhaps the biggest game of the year is Tuesday, a rescheduled game at Redlands, which starts at 5 p.m.
Box Score: PEP 15, CLU 8; CUI 19, CLU 16
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director