The University of Redlands women's water polo team battled through a pair of tough contests on Saturday at the Whittier Mini-Tournament, dropping two losses but showing improvement throughout the day. Against Azusa Pacific University, the Bulldogs suffered a 6-18 defeat before a late-game rally fell short against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, 7-8.
Against APU, the Maroon and Gray struggled in a challenging first period that resulted in a seven-goal hole. However, the team fought back to play better and better through the final whistle.
Senior center Jaci Cochrane (San Bernardino, CA) led the offense with four goals to go along with four ejections drawn. Freshman driver Grace Cochran (Danville, CA) notched a pair of scores, while sophomore center Caitlyn Freeman (Brentwood, CA) and junior center-defender Tricia Bannister (Naperville, IL) each fired one past the opponent goalkeeper. In addition, senior goalkeeper Julie Lupfer (San Diego, CA) recorded five saves for the Maroon and Gray.
Later that afternoon, Redlands returned to action against the Sagehens in a non-conference tilt. After trailing 2-6 through the first half, the Bulldogs unleashed a stellar comeback to cut the deficit to just one. However, Pomona-Pitzer kept the Maroon and Gray at bay, resulting in the one-goal decision.
The Bulldogs orchestrated a balanced attack with sophomore driver Taylor Christie (Anaheim, CA) leading the effort with two goals, while five other players scored once. Lupfer provided 12 saves and three steals during a full-game performance between the pipes.
Redlands (1-3) heads to the Lancer Invitational on Friday and Saturday, taking on USC at 1:30 p.m. to open the tournament. The event schedule is available on the Cal Baptist web site.