The No. 19 University of Redlands men's water polo team traveled to California Baptist University for the Lancer Invitational on Friday, earning a pair of wins in impressive fashion. The Bulldogs knocked off Fresno Pacific University by a score of 14-6 before taking down Occidental College in a solid 18-7 performance.
Against FPU, the Maroon and Gray started the game out strong when junior driver Michael Robinson (Corona, CA) scored the first goal of the game. Just a short minute later, a Fresno Pacific player received an ejection, causing the Sunbirds to be a man down. Redlands took advantage of opportunity by working the ball around the pool until senior driver Quinn Curl (San Mateo, CA) added the second goal for the Bulldogs. Redlands ended the first quarter up by a score of 3-0 after senior center Clint Freeman (Brentwood, CA) added his first of three netters in the game.
However, Fresno Pacific answered the Bulldogs' fiery start by adding four goals of its own in the second stanza.
But the Maroon and Gray's deficit was short-lived, as Curl added his second goal of the game to even the count at four apiece.
The Bulldogs exploded for 10 goals in the second half, with junior center Tommy Hartwig (Vista, CA) adding two of his own. Freshman center-defender Mark Zikov (La Quinta, CA) and freshman Zac Polmanteer (Long Beach, CA) also uncorked goals in the third quarter.
Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Chris Sekula (LaGrange, IL) and the Bulldogs stepped up in the second half, holding the Sunbirds to just two goals. After senior goalkeeper Tyler Abbott (Alta Loma, CA) patrolled the cage in the first two periods, Sekula provided three saves in the final two quarters, helping to propel the Maroon and Gray to the 14-6 victory.
During their evening bout, the Bulldogs dove in against Occidental for the second time this season, earning another non-conference triumph over the Tigers.
The Maroon and Gray came out firing with two goals apiece by Freeman and Curl in the early part of the contest. Senior driver Keaton Lynn (Oakley, CA) added another quick goal, leading to a 5-1 advantage by the end of the first frame.
After unleashing six goals in the second quarter, Redlands owned a commanding 11-3 lead by the midway point.
The Bulldogs never stopped applying the offensive pressure against Oxy, powering their way to an 18-7 victory.
Redlands (5-5) returns to the Lancer Invitational on Saturday, when it battles SCIAC opponents, Whittier College and the University of La Verne, in non-conference competition. The Bulldogs' matches begin at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.