The University of Redlands women's water polo team battled it out with Siena College (NY) in a non-conference tilt at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Thursday evening. Despite a slight chill in the air, the Bulldogs' offense came out on fire and pushed past the Saints in a 16-13 victory.
After the teams traded scores to start the first period, Siena created a 4-1 lead at the two-minute-mark of the frame. But the Bulldogs looked to sophomore center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) to make it a two-score game when she fired one past the Saint goalkeeper with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
This ignited the Maroon and Gray's offense with three-straight scores to open the second frame for a slight 5-4 advantage with 5:22 left on the clock. Sophomore utility player Rachel Nelson (San Juan Capistrano, CA), junior defender Stefanie Goldbach (Huntington Beach, CA), and junior attack player Alea Weber (Haiku, HI) each found the back of the net for the Bulldogs during this stretch.
After Siena tied it up, Redlands quickly responded with key stops on defense while also scoring twice to take a 7-5 lead with 3:52 remaining in the second quarter. Kahahawai and sophomore attack player Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) accounted for these goals.
However, the Saints refused to let up and answered with a single score to keep the game close at 6-7 by the midway point of the contest.
This trend continued, with Redlands earning a slight 9-6 advantage off of a netter by Nelson, but Siena kept clawing back with well-timed strikes of its own.
Finally, leading 11-10 at the 5:53-mark of the final frame, the Bulldogs began to pull away, as senior defender Chum Alvarez-Zakson (Santa Monica, CA), freshman attack player Olivia Allen (Santa Monica, CA), and Weber stretched it to 14-11.
But Siena fired off back-to-back scores to make it a one-goal game once again.
Finally, following Head Coach Chris Gielen's timeouts, Weber and Kahahawai sealed the deal with a pair of late goals to propel the Bulldogs to the exciting 16-13 win.
No goalkeeper statistics were available at the time of posting.
Redlands (1-2) heads to the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament on Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4, at Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps colleges.