WHITTIER, Calif.— An early deficit put the Cal Lutheran men's water polo team in a hole and the Kingsmen fought hard to get back in the game, but the Whittier Poets won the contest, 12-7, Thursday afternoon in the Slade Aquatics Center.
The loss dropped the Kingsmen to .500 on the year at 10-10. Cal Lutheran fell two games behind in the race for the No. 3 and 4 spots in conference play. CLU is now 3-5 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Andre Rivas was in the cage for the game and totaled seven saves. Defensively, Blaauw led CLU with two steals.
The biggest difference in the game was the shooting percentage. The Kingsmen recorded a percentage of .259, while the Poets had .414. Both teams had trouble converting on power play opportunities as CLU was 1-for-11 and WC was 1-for-6.
Whittier controlled the first quarter and shut out the Kingsmen. The Poets took a 3-0 lead into the second quarter. The second quarter continued to be all about the defense. With 5:54 left in the quarter, Lundgren put the Kingsmen on the board as they trailed 4-1. After two more goals from the Poets, English answered back and scored his first goal of the game with 1:05 left in the half. Whittier went into the half with a 6-2 lead.
In the second half, the Poets opened up their lead. They scored the first three points of the third quarter and had a 9-2 lead. Those were the only points scored in the third quarter and Whittier was up 9-2 with on quarter left. Corey got on the board for the CLU and Brown added a goal two minutes later. With 3:24 left in the game, Whittier was still up 11-4.
Brown made it back-to-back goals with his second of the game. Brown made it a hat trick and the Kingsmen cut the lead in half at 12-6. Cal Lutheran scored five goals in the fourth quarter as Krause fired a shot past the goalkeeper. Whittier fended off the last quarter rally and won the game 12-7.
Up next for the Kingsmen is Caltech and Austin College. Cal Lutheran takes on both teams Saturday and plays Caltech at 11 a.m. and Austin at 4 p.m.
Box Score: WC 12, CLU 7
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director