The University of Redlands men's water polo team was in action on Saturday at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational for the season opener against two formidable opponents in UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount University. In the first game against the Gauchos, the Bulldogs came up short in a 6-18 decision before suffering a 5-15 loss to the Lions.
Against UC Santa Barbara, the Maroon and Gray put up its strongest offensive showing in the first quarter by scoring three goals. After falling behind early, senior attacker Ty Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) recorded his first goal of the game at the 3:16-mark to make it 1-3. Shortly after, sophomore attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) found the back of the net, followed by another from junior attack Spencer Allen (Seal Beach, CA) to tie the match at three apiece. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Gauchos answered in the final minutes to give them a 6-3 lead heading into the second quarter.
The tide turned further in favor of the Gauchos, who held an 11-4 advantage at the break. In the third, the Bulldogs offense gained some traction with a pair of goals from senior defender Sean Todd (Highland, CA) and Williams. The Bulldogs attempted to carry the offensive momentum into the fourth, but fell by a score of 6-18.
During the afternoon contest, the Bulldogs faced a tough opening quarter that resulted in a four-goal deficit, with junior center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO) scoring the Maroon and Gray's only goal. In first-year attacker Tor Cole's (Malibu, CA) debut, he scored his first collegiate netter at the 2:13-mark of the second to make it 2-9 heading into halftime.
The Bulldogs showed promise with the third quarter's first goal, when senior attacker Grant Curry (San Diego, CA) fired one past the Lion goalkeeper. However, LMU continued to find the net to increase their lead to 12-3.
Senior center Billy Clifford (Redlands, CA) delivered a solid shot for a goal before notching one final score in the fourth frame to make it 5-15.
Redlands (0-2) returns to the Triton Invitational on Sunday, September 2, for an 8:30 a.m. bout against familiar foe Chapman University in non-conference action.