The University of Redlands women's water polo team closed out the 2017 campaign with an exciting win over the Occidental College Tigers in the seventh-place match of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship Tournament, which was hosted by the University of La Verne On the heels of a remarkable four-goal, two-assist effort by sophomore utility player Rachel Nelson (San Juan Capistrano, CA), the Bulldogs earned an early lead and remained ahead en route to the 11-7 win.
Nelson notched Redlands' first goal of the game less 90 seconds into the action. After Oxy evened the tally, the teams appeared to be in for a tight match, as they traded scores to finish the first period in a 2-2 tie.
The Bulldogs upped the ante in the second stanza, beginning with Nelson's second netter of the game. Freshman attack player Olivia Allen (Santa Monica, CA) followed suit just 47 seconds later for a slight 4-2 lead.
Nelson stayed hot by converting a sweet pass from sophomore attack player Breanna O'Dea (Rowland Heights, CA) with 4:15 left on the second-quarter clock. Junior attack player Michelle Na (Mercer Island, WA) added an assist when she found sophomore attack player Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) for the Maroon and Gray's 6-2 halftime advantage.
Early in the third period, Nelson served as the playmaker on junior defender Stefanie Goldbach's (Huntington Beach, CA) goal to extend the Bulldogs' lead to five goals.
Although Oxy pulled two back, Nelson continued to press offensively with her fourth goal to start the fourth quarter. The Tigers managed three more scores before the final whistle, but Redlands gained quality goals from Allen, sophomore driver Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA), and sophomore center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) to keep the opponents at bay. Nelson completed the impressive outing by dishing out another assist, with this one complementing the Maroon and Gary's final goal of the game.
Redlands finishes the season with a 10-23 overall record and a 5-7 mark in SCIAC action for seventh place.