The University of Redlands men's water polo team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in Thursday night's 17-5 victory over the visiting Beavers of Caltech. The Bulldogs saw 22 players take to the pool in a well-balanced effort against the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe.
Redlands scored on back-to-back possessions off the hands of senior center Billy Clifford (Redlands, CA) before junior attacker Spencer Allen (Seal Beach, CA) and sophomore attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) each found the back of the net for the home team's early 4-0 lead.
After the Beavers pulled one back, the Maroon and Gray closed out the first quarter with three more scores for a 7-1 advantage. Junior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA) and senior attacker Grant Curry (San Diego, CA) teamed up for the hat trick in a 75-second span.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 12-3 by the end of the second quarter, with senior attacker Ty Williams (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), sophomore utility player Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA), junior attacker Reece Koe (Camarillo, CA), Allen, and Kerwin each contributing a goal.
First-year goalkeeper Jason Gates (San Jose, CA) lifted sophomore starter Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) at the beginning of the third quarter and proceeded to make five saves to limit the Beavers to one goal in each of the final frames. Defensively, he received quality support from senior center-defender Ilan Dayan (Sao Paulo, Brazil), first-year attacker Tor Cole (Malibu, CA), Curry, Swan, and Williams, who joined forces to account for 11 of the team's 16 steals.
Offensively, the Bulldogs cruised to a 17-5 finish that included an impressive offensive display with 1:38 left in the game. Cole found first-year center Karan Akcan (Yucaipa, CA), who back-handed the ball past the Caltech goalkeeper for a sweet combination.
Redlands (11-12, 5-3 SCIAC) heads to the University of La Verne on Saturday, October 20, for an 11 a.m. showdown against the Leopards.