U of R Men's Water Polo Battles through Inland Empire Classic
The University of Redlands men's water polo team served as co-host of the 2012 Inland Empire Classic on Saturday and Sunday, with all levels of the NCAA competing at the Thompson Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs faced off against some of the best opponents in the area, recording a 1-5 record on the weekend with their sole win coming against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, Whittier College.
In Sunday's contest against the Poets, junior driver Clint Freeman (Brentwood, CA) fired off eight goals to lead the Maroon and Gray's charge en route to the 17-11 victory. Sophomore driver Michael Robinson (Norco, CA) and freshman driver Paul Smallman (San Carlos, CA) registered the only other multi-goal efforts with three and two netters, respectively. Junior goalkeeper Tyler Abbott (Alta Loma, CA) patrolled the Redlands net by making nine saves in the game.
The Bulldogs also took on NCAA Division I counterparts, UC Santa Barbara and Santa Clara University, earlier in the day. Redlands suffered a 2-23 defeat to the Gauchos before coming up short to the Broncos by a score of 6-11. Freeman served as the team's leading scorer in these contests, tallying a combined three goals.
On Saturday, Redlands opened the tournament with an 8-13 decision against the Air Force Academy, as Freeman and Robinson joined forces for six of the team's goals. Abbott split time in the cage with freshman goalkeeper Christian Jamison (San Bernardino, CA) with each collecting five saves.
The Maroon and Gray finished out the first day with a competitive showing against UC Davis but suffered an 8-14 loss. Robinson and Smallman registered two goals apiece to lead the Bulldogs.
Redlands (1-7) looks forward to a week off from competition and then heads to the high-caliber UC Davis Aggie Shootout on Sept. 22-23. The Bulldogs take on the University of the Pacific at 9:10 a.m. on that Saturday.