THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Needing a win to stay in playoff contention, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen defeated the Chapman Panthers 11-9, Wednesday afternoon, at the Samuelson Aquatic Center.
The victory moves Cal Lutheran to 8-6 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Association play and 16-11 overall, making this the most successful season in team history by number of wins.
The Kingsmen were led by huge efforts from George Lundgren and Ben Brown. Lundgren finished with four goals on five attempts and recorded one assist along with three steals and one block defensively. Brown also finished with four goals on eight attempts and three steals.
Dillon Goldsmith and Justin English also kept the offense rolling. Goldsmith recorded two goals on five attempts and one assist and notched two steals and two blocks defensively. English finished with one goal on two attempts.
Andre Rivas was also a dominant presence in goal, playing the whole game and finishing with 13 saves.
The Panthers got on the board first, but the Kingsmen responded quickly thanks to a Goldsmith goal to tie and a Lundgren goal to take the lead 2-1. With under a minute remaining in the first quarter, the Panthers tied things up off a lob shot over the hands of Rivas but the Kingsmen answered on a power play goal from Lundgren to end the first with the Kingsmen ahead 3-2.
Brown got the Kingsmen going early in the second scoring in the top left corner of the net coming off of a great counter-attack. The Panthers responded for two more goals in the quarter but the Kingsmen maintained the lead with a goal from English to hold the lead at 5-4 at the end of the quarter.
Both teams battled hard in the third quarter with the Kingsmen starting out strong thanks to back to back goals by Brown. The first came off a power play getting Brown a good look on goal and he scored in the right corner. On the following possession, Brown stole the ball on defense and was able to finish on offense with a spinning backhand shot in the bottom right corner. From there, Chapman responded with three unanswered goals ending the quarter tied at 7-7.
Cal Lutheran started the final quarter of play on fire, putting up four unanswered goals of their own.
Lundgren recovered the lead in the beginning minutes of the fourth on a perfectly placed skip shot. Brown was able to get another goal of his own followed by another goal for Lundgren on a penalty shot taken in the bottom left corner of the net. After one final goal from Goldsmith to push the lead to 11-7, the Panthers attempted a comeback scoring two goals of their own, but could not get any more, ending the game with an 11-9 Kingsmen victory.
Doing their part to remain in playoff contention, the Kingsmen now await the results of Saturday's Redlands-Whittier matchup to determine if they have clinched a berth to the SCIAC playoffs.
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Release by Scott Roberts, Sports Information Student Assistant