The University of Redlands men's water polo team hosted four games of the 2018 Inland Empire Classic on Saturday, with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, Concordia University – Irvine, USC, and the Bulldogs gaining quality outings at the newly renovated Thompson Aquatic Center.
CMS vs. Concordia - Irvine
The day opened with CMS battling Concordia in a high-caliber match that ended with a Stag win by a score of 11-10. After an even, first quarter, CMS snagged a 7-6 advantage by the midway point of the game. The Stags continued to roll in the third frame, out-scoring the Eagles, 4-1. However, Concordia battled back in the final period to register three goals while keeping CMS off the board, but it was not enough to change the outcome. For CMS, William Clark, Koss Klobucher, and Zack Rossman each found the back of the net twice, while Concordia gained hat tricks from Nick Walker and Messan Moore. Defensively, Stag goalkeeper Matt Tran stepped up with 11 saves.
Redlands vs. USC
Redlands jumped into action against the USC Trojans during the second game of the day. The Bulldogs fought well but ultimately suffered a 2-23 defeat. Junior center-defender Carl Matthews' (Yorba Linda, CA) early goal off an assist by senior attacker Ty Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) evened the score at one apiece with 3:54 left in the opening quarter. Redlands' final goal came off a rocket of a shot by junior utility player Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) just two minutes into the second period. For USC, Hannes Daube impressed with five goals and four assists.
CMS vs. USC
Next, CMS and USC squared off, with the Trojans taking this one by a score of 17-2. USC hurried out to an 11-1 lead through halftime and continued to press the offensive pedal, as CMS was held scoreless until the final two minutes. Samuel Harrison and Rossman chipped in the Stags' only goals, while Mario Vavic paced the Trojans with four netters.
Redlands vs. Concordia - Irvine
In the final game of the day at the U of R, the Bulldogs battled Concordia but came up short in an 11-13 decision. After the Eagles soared out to a 4-0 lead through the first period, Redlands refocused to stage a great push through the end of the third quarter. By that point, Concordia held a slight 8-7 advantage with eight minutes remaining. Although Redlands never overcame the deficit, the home squad valiantly fought until the final whistle. Walker supplied a hat trick for Concordia, while junior attacker Spencer Allen (Seal Beach, CA) and senior attacker Grant Curry (San Diego, CA) scored three goals apiece for the Maroon and Gray. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) provided a remarkable effort between the posts, racking up 11 saves, including multiple 1-v-1 stops. The Eagles' Alfredo De La Mora provided a slight edge with 12 saves.
The IE Classic continues on Sunday, September 9, with six games at the Thompson Aquatic Center, beginning at 9 a.m. Please visit the tournament page for box scores, schedules, video streaming and live stat links.