Bulldog Men's Water Polo Concludes Regular Season with Tough Loss to Whittier College

Photo credit: Rachel Roche
Photo credit: Rachel Roche

In a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) men's water polo contest that had strong postseason implications, the University of Redlands concluded its regular season with a heartbreaking 5-8 loss to Whittier College in the conference finale on Saturday.

A defensive battle ensued throughout the first period, as it yielded few results for either team. The Poets finally got on the board with 3:08 left to carry an early 1-0 lead into the second quarter.

After Whittier converted a quick goal on a power-play, sophomore utility player Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA) found the back of the net for the Bulldogs' first goal of the game with 5:54 left on the clock. Soon after, senior center Billy Clifford (Redlands, CA) evened the score at two apiece, but the Poets got back on top on a tough counterplay. On the next possession, Swan tallied his second score of the day to send the teams into halftime tied at 3-3.

However, the Poets took control in the third with the quarter's only two goals to take a 5-3 lead with one frame remaining.

Senior utility player Mitchell Walker (Taylorsville, UT) converted a quick score early in the fourth to cut the deficit to just one at the 6:35-mark.

But the Poets capitalized on another power-play before taking an 8-4 lead. Although the Bulldogs fought to secure a score from senior attacker Alec Todd (Highland, CA) late in the game, the comeback effort fell short.

Defensively, senior Ilan Dayan (Sao Paulo, Brazil) registered two steals, while sophomore goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) made nine saves.

Redlands completes the 2018 season with a record of 14-15 overall and a fifth-place finish in conference play at 8-6.