Redlands Men's Water Polo Fights through Challenging Weekend
The University of Redlands men's water polo squad battled against top-tier programs over the weekend at the UC Davis Aggie Shoot-out. Despite not earning any wins, the Bulldogs further prepared themselves for what lies ahead in conference competition.
The U of R faced off against the eighth-ranked team in NCAA Division I, the University of the Pacific, on Saturday morning but fell to the Tigers, 4-12. After being held scoreless in the first two periods, Redlands rallied in the second half to outscore Pacific by a 3-2 margin in the fourth stanza.
Looking to rebound in the afternoon, Redlands battled against No. 18 Cal Baptist University, losing in a back-and-forth battle, 10-16. Junior driver Clint Freeman (Brentwood, CA), sophomore driver Michael Robinson (Corona, CA) and sophomore center Tommy Hartwig (Vista, CA) each tallied two goals for the Maroon and Gray.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs squared off against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) member, California Lutheran University. In a game that saw Redlands take a 6-4 lead into halftime, it was once again Freeman leading the way with two goals in the first half. Up 8-6, the Bulldogs allowed four unanswered goals to go down by two. Freeman and junior driver Quinn Curl (San Mateo, CA) piloted the comeback, with each scoring a goal to tie the contest at 10 apiece. Curl's score came with just 25 seconds to play in the fourth period. However, the Kingsmen responded on their last offensive set of the game, scoring with just five ticks left on the clock en route to the Bulldogs' difficult loss.
In the Bulldogs' fourth and final game of the weekend, Redlands played an even first stanza with 12th-ranked UC Davis, as the score was tied at four heading into the second period. The Aggies stepped up defensively, however, and shut out the Bulldogs for the remainder of the half. The Maroon and Gray offense woke up in the third period, tallying six goals to the Aggies' five. Redlands tacked on two more scores in the fourth stanza, but the deficit was too much to make up, as the Bulldogs fell by a score of 12-16. Freeman, Robinson and junior center Grant Harrington (Poway, CA) notched the team's only multi-goal performances against Davis, with two apiece.
During the weekend, junior goalkeeper Tyler Abbott (Alta Loma, CA) provided 16 stops between the pipes during three of his appearances. Goalkeeper statistics from the Redlands-CLU game were not available. He also shared time with freshmen Christian Jamison (San Bernardino, CA) and Austin Womack (Vista, CA), who made two and five staves, respectively.
Redlands (1-11) strives to rebound from these tough losses on Saturday, September 29, when it takes on No. 17 Navy at 3 p.m. in the Thompson Aquatic Center.