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