The University of Redlands men's water polo team hit the road for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) showdown against the Chapman University Panthers on Wednesday night. In an incredibly tight battle, the Bulldogs rallied back to force overtime but ultimately lost in a heartbreaking 10-11 decision.
Redlands jumped out to a 3-0 lead with consecutive scores to start the contest. Sophomore attack player Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA) contributed an assist on freshman utility player Jasen Swan's (Glendora, CA) opening goal before firing off back-to-back netters of his own.
However, Chapman came roaring back to take a 5-3 lead through the end of the second stanza.
After a rousing halftime speech by Head Coach Tom Whittemore, the Bulldogs answered the call by uncorking back-to-back scores to even the tally at five apiece. At the 7:14-mark, junior utility player Mitchell Walker (Taylorsville, UT) found junior attack player Ty Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) for the goal before the teams fought through a defensive struggle on both ends of the pool. More than four minutes later, Walker sent a goal past the Panther goalkeeper to tie it up.
But Chapman responded and ultimately regained its two-goal advantage through the end of the third period.
During the fourth frame, freshman attack player Aaron White (San Jose, CA), junior center-defender Ilan Dayan (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and sophomore utility player Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) scored for the Bulldogs, while the stingy play of freshman goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) limited the Panthers to only one goal to make it 8-all by the 2:36-mark.
However, Chapman mustered one more goal to put Redlands in a late hole. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs had the last say in regulation, as Swan connected with Walker, who blasted the ball into the back of the net.
A final attempt by the Panthers was stopped by Martinez, which forced the game into overtime.
The teams traded goals in the first extra period, with Swan scoring one for the Maroon and Gray.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs' comeback luck ran out, as Chapman came up with the game-winning goal late in the second overtime.
Martinez finished with 16 saves in a solid effort.
The Bulldogs (10-13, 5-3 SCIAC) host Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, October 28, at the Thompson Aquatic Center. First sprint is set for 11 a.m.