CLAREMONT, Calif.— The No. 4 Cal Lutheran men's water polo team had a tough test as the Kingsmen took on the top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens Friday night at Haldeman Pool in the semifinals of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. The Kingsmen had the Sagehens on the ropes in the first half, but PP opened it up in the second half and won 15-8.
The Kingsmen finished their most successful season for wins, and ended 2018 with 16 victories.
Dillon Goldsmith led Cal Lutheran with three goals in his first postseason game. Five more Kingsmen scored a goal as Kyle Crist, Justin English, Matt Fong, George Lundgren and Tanner Kaplan each found the back of the net.
The defense held strong for the first half, but wasn't able to withstand the big third and fourth quarters from the Sagehens. Andre Rivas was in goal and made five big saves. Stephen Blaauw, Hans Cole and Fong each recorded a steal.
The Kingsmen gave the Sagehens all they could handle throughout the game. Pomona-Pitzer took a 2-0 lead before Kaplan cut the lead in half. PP increased its lead again and was up 3-1. With 20 seconds left in the quarter, Cal Lutheran was able to draw an exclusion and had a power play opportunity. Crist then scored a buzzer-beater as he put the ball into the back of the cage with one second left.
CLU kept the pressure on PP as Goldsmith tied the game up early in the second quarter. The Sagehens took control the rest of the quarter, scored two goals and had a 5-3 lead at the half.
Pomona-Pitzer was able to open its lead in the second half. The Sagehens scored five points in each quarter as the Kingsmen scored three and two, respectively. PP won the game, 15-8, and advanced to the finals of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.
The Kingsmen finished the year with a 16-12 record and made their first trip to the postseason tournament since 2014.
Box Score: PP 15, CLU 8
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director