The University of Redlands men's water polo team welcomed the Chapman University Panthers to the Thompson Aquatic Center on Saturday morning for an important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game. Prior to the start of the match, the Bulldogs celebrated the careers of their six seniors.
The Maroon and Gray jumped on the board first with a solo goal from senior center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO) to go up 1-0 at 5:24. Two minutes later, Chapman tried to tie things up but junior goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) made a highlight reel, one-on-one save to maintain the lead.
At 3:32, Krause put another through the post to stretch the score to 2-0.
However, Chapman managed to tie things up at two, heading into the second period. The teams traded scores throughout the second and third periods with Chapman holding a 7-5 lead at the 6:51-minute mark in the third.
Redlands remained relentless, clawing its way back goal by goal. First-year utility player Ryan Pilotte (Townsend, MD) initiated the scoring spurt with a goal that was assisted by senior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA).
In the two minutes that followed, senior attacker Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) registered a defensive block, a steal, drew an exclusion, and assisted the subsequent goal. Jackson found senior attacker Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA) to knot the score at 7-7 at the 3:11 mark in the third.
This time, Allen received a quick pass from junior attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) to retake the lead at 8-7 with 1:52 left before the final quarter.
The teams continued to go back-and-forth, the score knotted at 9-9 with 1:51 left in the game.
Play intensified as each team took resourceful timeouts. Heading out of a timeout, Martinez found Allen on a long pass for the eventual game-winning score with just seven seconds left on the clock.
Chapman mustered two more opportunities to score, but Martinez made the save and junior attacker Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA) came up with a big defensive block to secure the victory.
Allen ended the game with five goals and two assists while Martinez finished the game with 11 saves.
With this victory, Redlands secured a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament for the first time since its inception. The Bulldogs snag the No. 4 seed and head to top-seeded Whittier College on Friday, November 22, for a 7 p.m. game.