CLAREMONT, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran women's water polo team split on day one of the Claremont Convergence tournament as the Regals came up just short against Cal State Monterey Bay, 11-9, and then bounced backed to defeat McKendree 15-4 on Friday afternoon.
Claremont Convergence is a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer. The Regals do not play on the second day of the tournament.
CLU held McKendree scoreless in the first half, outscoring them 9-0. It is the second time in a span of three games that the Regals have shut out an opponent in the first half. Both Cal State Monterey Bay and McKendree are Division II programs. The Regals are 2-3 against Division II competition, 3-3 versus Division I opponents and are now 7-6 on the year.
The Regals started the day with Cal State Monterey Bay. Freshman Lexi Rond led the offense with four goals and seven drawn ejections. Rond has been impressive with drawing ejections and has accumulated 51 on the year. She is five ejections short of cracking into the program's top-10 for a season. Defensively, freshman Kaitlin Gardhouse stood out and recorded a team-high four steals and Rond contributed two more. Senior Goalkeeper Bailey Meyer made 10 big saves and added two assists and one steal.
Both defenses stood out as the game remained very close all the way through. Rond got the scoring started as she found the back of the net just a minute and a half into the contest. The teams went back-and-forth in scoring over the rest of the quarter and CLU had a 3-2 lead as sophomore Jessica Diaz and senior Nikki Roed both added a goal.
The second quarter continued to feature the defense as both teams couldn't get much going. Cal State Monterey Bay finally broke through and added two goals late in the quarter to take their first lead at 4-3. That was the only scoring in the second quarter and the Otters had the lead at the half.
CLU looked to right the ship in the third quarter and senior Megan Seeman got the scoring going early to tie the game. After the Otters answered with a goal, CLU fired right back and Rond scored her second goal of the game with 3:23 left in the third. Rond then recorded her fourth hat trick of the year as she gave the Regals the lead a minute later. After two goals from CSUMB, junior Victoria Rose Meek tied the game at 7-7 with seven seconds left.
The Otters took the lead back in the fourth and were up 9-7 with 5:50 left in the game. Rond and Gardhouse tied the game up, again, with 3:24 on the clock. CSUMB scored on the ensuing possession and looked to hold off the Regals the rest of the way. The Otters did just that as they took the contest with a final score of 11-9.
Cal Lutheran looked to bounce back in its second game of the day and did just that. Meyer started the game in goal and freshman Kaitlin Moreno also saw some action. Meyer recorded five saves and no goals against and Moreno made nine stops. The upperclassmen led the offense against McKendree as Roed scored four goals while senior Avery Karich, senior Mardell Ramirez and Meek all added two. Ramirez moved the ball around and dished out an impressive four assists. Nine different Regals recorded a drawn ejection, led by Karich with three. CLU made the most of its opportunities and were 8-of-12 on power plays.
The defense was just effective as the offense. Hirn and Roed kept the intensity high as they both tallied three steals and sis more Regals added one. Both sides of the ball flourished as the Regals left their mark on the Bearcats.
Cal Lutheran scored early and often as Roed tallied a hat trick in the first quarter. Thomas and junior Christin Hirn both added a goal as CLU was up 5-0 going in to the second. The Regals offense showed off many people in the second quarter as Roed, Ramirez, Meek and Rond all scored to give Cal Lutheran a 9-0 lead at the break. The Regals kept the momentum the rest of the way as they ran away with the game in the second half and claimed the victory with a final of 15-4.
Cal Lutheran jumps right back into SCIAC play after the weekend with non-conference competition. The Regals host their first SCIAC match of the year and welcome Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to the Samuelson Aquatics Center on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Box Scores: CSUMB 11, CLU 9; CLU 15; MU 4
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director