The University of Redlands men's water polo team opened Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action by hosting the University of La Verne on Wednesday evening at the Thompson Aquatic Center. While scoring 10 goals in two quarters, the Bulldogs captured a 14-9 win over the Leopards in a physical and exciting match.
After the teams traded scores to open the contest, Redlands gained back-to-back goals from senior utility player Mitchell Walker (Taylorsville, UT) for the Maroon and Gray's early 3-1 lead. However, the by the end of the first, La Verne had cut the deficit to one.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs entered the second period with an elevated sense of determination and organization. While taking advantage of an early power play, Walker found senior attacker Grant Curry (San Diego, CA) for a sweet combination to make it 4-2.
Redlands continued to roll with goals by junior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA) and sophomore utility player Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA). However, the Leopards refused to go away and tacked on a pair of scores to keep things close. Junior attacker Spencer Allen (Seal Beach, CA) orchestrated the Bulldog offense by dishing out assists on back-to-back goals, as Curry and Walker each found the back of the net before the end of the second stanza.
After La Verne scored a late goal, the Maroon and Gray entered the halftime break with an 8-5 advantage.
Nonetheless, Redlands took control in the third frame with three-straight goals through the 3:56-mark. Swan, Kerwin, and senior center-defender Ilan Dayan (Sao Paulo, Brazil) each fired one past the La Verne goalkeeper, while sophomore attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) provided one assist.
The Bulldogs maintained a four-goal lead through the final whistle, thanks in part to the lucrative play of Curry and Allen, who accounted for the home team's final three scores.
Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) stepped up again and again to limit the Leopards' offense and finished the night with 12 saves, including one against a penalty shot.
Curry led the Bulldog attack with five goals on six shots.
ULV's Chucky Ortega produced four scores in the loss.
Redlands (3-7, 1-0 SCIAC) hosts Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in a SCIAC match on Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m., before taking on Cal Baptist University in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m. that night.