THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— In a battle for No. 4 spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament, it was the Chapman Panthers that came out on top, defeating Cal Lutheran men's water polo 13-9 on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 4 spot is still up for grabs, with a few games left to play. The Panthers avenged an early season loss to the Kingsmen and moved half a game ahead of them in the SCIAC standings. Cal Lutheran is 14-12 overall and 7-6 in conference play, with one game left. Chapman improves to 7-5 in SCIAC play with two games left.
Both defenses came out with something to prove and shut down the opposing offenses in the first quarter. The period saw one goal as Chapman had the lead heading to the second. Cal Lutheran goalkeeper Andre Rivas made play after play, making four saves, keeping the game at one-possession. He made 18 saves in all.
After the Panthers scored on their first possession of the second quarter, the Kingsmen answered with back-to-back goals as Ben Brown and Cole Weiderman tied the game. Chapman responded with two goals and the Kingsmen bounced back with two more as George Lundgren and Weiderman found the back of the net. The game continued to go back and forth as the Panthers had a 6-5 lead at the break.
Cal Lutheran took its first lead of the game in the third quarter as the Kingsmen scored back-to-back goals. Justin Krause notched his first goal of the game and Lundgren scored his second to give CLU the momentum. Chapman, however, had other plans as the Panthers scored three straight points to end the quarter and took a 9-7 advantage to the fourth.
The Panthers put the pressure on the Kingsmen, scoring the first two goals of the fourth, and opened up an 11-7 lead. CLU got two more goals down the stretch, Lundgren converted for a hat trick and Tommy Corey scored his first goal, but it wasn't enough as Chapman took the game 13-9.
Lundgren led the offense with his hat trick and Weiderman was next with two and added four drawn ejections. The Kingsmen were fantastic in power play opportunities, going 5-for-7, but the Panthers also did good and were 4-of-6.
CLU's defense did a lot, behind Rivas' 18 goals, but it wasn't enough. Stephen Blaauw, Brown and Lundgren put the pressure on Chapman's offense and came up with two steals each.
The Kingsmen have a week off before their final regular season game. Cal Lutheran stays on the road and takes on Pomona-Pitzer in a must-win game for the final spot in the SCIAC Tournament.
Box Score: CU 13, CLU 9
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director