The University of Redlands men's water polo team battled it out with the visiting University of La Verne Leopards in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Thursday evening. After storming out to an 11-4 halftime lead, the Bulldogs held off a late push by the visitors to secure the 14-12 victory.
The teams traded scores in the opening period to make it 4-4 at the 4:59-mark before Redlands earned a slight 6-4 advantage off of goals by sophomore attack players Austin Kent (Redlands, CA) and Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA).
Early in the second stanza, senior utility player Max Taylor (Henderson, NV) fired off three-consecutive goals, as junior attack player Ty Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) uncorked back-to-back netters to give the home team an 11-4 halftime lead. During this lucrative stretch, freshman goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) served as a brick wall to keep the Leopards scoreless in the second period.
Although La Verne rallied to out-score the Bulldogs, 8-3, in the final two periods, Redlands' advantage held up for the 14-12 win. The Bulldogs gained critical goals from freshman attack player Aaron White (San Jose, CA), Allen, and Taylor late in the game.
Martinez finished the night with 10 saves and two steals, while Taylor paced the offense with five goals and two assists.
Redlands (10-12, 5-2 SCIAC) travels to Chapman University on Wednesday, October 25, for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Panthers in Orange.