NEW LONDON, Conn.— The Cal Lutheran men's water polo team had a great showing and went 2-1 on day one of the Conn. College Tournament. On Saturday, the Kingsmen took down the Penn. St-Behrend Lions 16-4 and the Conn. College Camels 20-7, but fell to MIT 10-9.
The Kingsmen now sit at .500 on the year and are 2-2. MIT is ranked No. 7 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Varsity Division III Top 10
Against Penn St.-Behrend, the Kingsmen found themselves in a quick hole as they made two regular strength goals. Cal Lutheran was quick to answer and tied the game as Hans Cole and Seth Hightower made back-to-back goals.
The game was tied at 4 early in the second period when the Kingsmen took charge with a strong press in defense and never looked back as they scored 12 unanswered goals. CLU had a season-high 22 steals and held PSB scoreless on five power play goals.
Cole, Wyatt Lowe and George Lundgren all recorded a hat trick. Nine different Kingsmen scored in the game. The defense was out in full force as Matt Fong had a team-high five steals. Ben Brown was right behind him with four and Tanner Kaplan had three. Cole, Jack Kirby and Lundgren each had two drawn ejections. Jonathan Salandi was in the goal and made 14 saves. He shut out PSB in the second half.
The offense and defense really came alive for Cal Lutheran's matchup with Conn. College as the Kingsmen won 20-7. Lowe and Hightower led the squad with three goals each. Kaplan, Fong, Lundgren, English and Brown each accounted for two apiece.
The Kingsmen moved the ball around as Kaplan, Fong, Hightower and Brown all tallied two assists. CLU was 9-for-13 on power plays as the offense thrived against Conn. College.
Brown led the defense with six steals. English and Cole were next with four and three, respectively. Andre Rivas was in the goal for half the game and made four saves. He added two steals and two assists. Salandi was in goal for the other half and made one save.
Versus MIT, Lundgren got the scoring started with two power play goals in the first two minutes. After MIT scored on a power play of their own, Parker Jory capitalized on the third straight power play goal for the Kingsmen.
The Cal Lutheran defense struggled in the second quarter giving up four unanswered points. The game continued to be close as each team scored a point in the third quarter. In the fourth, Dillon Goldsmith tied the game as he scored with 37 seconds left. MIT called a timeout and drew up a well-designed play and scored with 24 seconds left. The Kingsmen had a final chance, but a shot with 10 seconds left was blocked and MIT held on for a 10-9 win.
Goldsmith recorded a hat trick, Lundgren and Jory scored twice and Hightower and Brown add one. Lundgren led the team two assists. CLU forced MIT into 15 turnovers. Kirby and Stephen Blaauw were big for the Kingsmen defense with three steals each.
Cal Lutheran continues the tournament tomorrow and will take on Gannon at 6:45 a.m. PST and then Iona at 10 a.m.
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director