Regals Start Season with Win Against Division I St. Francis (N.Y.)

Bailey Meyer recorded 27 saves over the two games.
Bailey Meyer recorded 27 saves over the two games.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Cal Lutheran women's water polo team took on two Division I opponents, defeating St. Francis 13-5 before falling to Brown 10-8, on Saturday, day one of the Bruno Classic. Brown hosted the tournament inside the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. 

The game against St. Francis was the season opener for Cal Lutheran. The Regals came out on fire and continued their impressive play against a very good Brown Bears' team.

Versus St. Francis (N.Y.)
The Regals used two 5-0 scoring runs on their way to knocking off the Terriers. With the score tied at one, CLU used the first run and had a quick 6-1 lead just over midway through the second quarter. The second run stretched from the 4:41 mark in the third to the 6:11 mark in the fourth. It gave the Regals more than enough room as they coasted to the victory. 

Junior Mackenzie Thomas led the offense with a hat trick as she converted all three of her shots. Four Regals scored their first goals in the Violet and Gold as sophomore transfer Jessica Diaz (2), and freshmen Bri Bulkeley (1), Kaitlin Gardhouse (1) and Lexi Rond (1) all found the back of the net. 

Cal Lutheran tallied seven assists on its 13 goals with Nikki Roed and Mardell Ramirez dishing out two each. Rond helped the offense and in her first collegiate game recorded a team-high five drawn ejections. Freshman Susanna Zdolsek was right behind her with three. 

Roed showed off an all-around game and added two goals and three steals to her stat line. Diaz was a big part defensively and tallied two steals, while senior Bailey Meyer was in goal and made 12 saves. 

Versus Brown
The Regals got off to a slow start as the Bears took a 5-3 lead after the first quarter. Brown increased its lead as the outscored CLU 2-1 in the second quarter. Cal Lutheran outscored the Division I team, 4-3, in the second half. However, it wasn't enough as the Bears held on for the 10-8 win. 

Meyer continued her outstanding play in the goal and recorded 15 saves as she kept CLU in the game. She also led the defense with a team-high three steals. The defense stepped up when called up on and Gardhouse had two steals while Ramirez, Thomas and Diaz all had one. 

In just her second collegiate game, Gardhouse led the team with an impressive four goals. Diaz, Christin Hirn, Victoria Rose Meek and Rond each added one goal. Rond continued her strong offensive play and tallied five drawn ejections for the second straight game, while Meek was next with three. 

The Regals continue the Bruno Classic on Sunday with two more Division I opponents. Cal Lutheran plays Siena at 5 a.m. and St. Francis PA at 9:40. Both times are set for Pacific Standard Time. 

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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director