THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — It was the home opener for the Regals water polo team as Cal Lutheran welcomed the University of Toronto and Cal State Northridge to the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Tuesday afternoon. The Regals went 1-1 on the day as they defeated Toronto 11-4, but lost to CSUN 15-8.
Cal Lutheran played its fifth Division I opponent in six games as it took on the Matadors of CSUN. The Regals had their chances to take the lead as they had 10 drawn ejections compared to the Matadors four, but CLU could only convert on two of those attempts. The Regals bounced back in the second game, going 5-for-8 on power plays, and improved their record to 4-2 on the season
The defense was a huge part for the Regals early on against the Varsity Blues. CLU held Toronto scoreless in the first half, while putting up six points, and had total control of the game. The lead allowed the Regals to coast the rest of the way and they eventually ended the contest with four goals in the final quarter.
Seniors Mardell Ramirez and Nikki Roed showed their leadership on the offensive end as both tallied a hat trick. Freshman Susanna Zdolsek added two goals while senior Avery Karich, junior Victoria Rose Meek and freshman Lexi Rond each had one. CLU moved the ball around well and six different Regals tallied an assist.
Defensively, Roed had five assists and freshman Kaitlin Gardhouse and Ramirez had three more apiece. Senior Bailey Meyer was in the cage and recorded eight saves and three steals while adding the first half shutout to her impressive stat line.
Vs. Cal State Northridge
The Regals got on the board first after Rond drew an ejection on a Matador defender. CLU was awarded a penalty shot and Rond finished the job to give the Regals the early lead. CSUN was quick to answer and scored twice before Meek tied up the game at 2. The teams continued to go back and forth as Gardhouse tied the score at 3 with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.
The second quarter started with more of the same with each team answering whenever the other would score. Roed tied up the game at 4 as she floated the ball up and over the Matador goalkeeper. CSUN showed its strength and defense the rest of the half, outscoring the Regals 3-0, and taking a 7-4 lead at the break. The Matadors opened up their lead in the third as they put up seven points. CLU could not recover as CSUN won the game 15-8.
It was a tough battle against the Matadors and the Regals' offense was led by senior Megan Seeman and Rond with two goals each. Rond continued her stellar offensive play and drew a team-high four ejections. On the defensive end, Roed recorded four steals and two field blocks while Meyer made eight saves in goal.
The Regals continue the season at home with the Tina Finali Invitational. Cal Lutheran will host seven schools for a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday. CLU starts the tournament with Fresno Pacific on Friday morning at 9 a.m.
Box Score: CLU 11, UT 4; CSUN 15, CLU 8
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director