Suffocating Defense Secures Spot in SCIAC Postseason Tournament

Christin Hirn (purple cap) and the Regals' defense helped Cal Lutheran rout the Occidental Tigers 15-1.
Christin Hirn (purple cap) and the Regals' defense helped Cal Lutheran rout the Occidental Tigers 15-1.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Suffocating defense from the Cal Lutheran women's water polo team, turned into great offense, as the Regals routed the Occidental Tigers, 15-1, on Saturday afternoon. 

The Regals improved to 10-1 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play and clinched a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. Overall, CLU is 17-7 after winning its seventh game in a row. Occidental dropped to 7-14 overall and 1-10 in conference. 

The defense impressed, starting with Bailey Meyer in the goal. She recorded 15 saves and added two assists and one steal. Cal Lutheran recorded 12 steals in all and Christin Hirn had a team-high three while Victoria Rose Meek and Mardell Ramirez added two more each. The Regals held the Tigers to 0-for-8 on power play opportunities.  

The great defense turned into offense as eight different Regals scored. Lexi Rond led the attack with four goals and Nikki Roed was next with a hat trick. Mackenzie Thomas and Susanna Zdolsek both added two goals. 

The offense moved the ball around well as Kaitlin GardhouseNicole Guerriero, Hirn, Thomas and Rachel Ray each dished out one assist. CLU had a successful showing when it came to power play opportunities and converted on 7-of-10. Meek recorded a team-high three drawn ejections while Gardhouse and Rond both had two.

The Regals jumped out to a quick lead, scoring the first five goals of the game. Jessica Diaz capped off the scoring spree, adding her lone goal late in the quarter, and CLU had a 5-1 lead at the end of one. Meyer and the defense were on another level the rest of the game and did not allow another point.

The offense fed off the defense, scoring five goals in the second quarter, and had a commanding 10-1 lead at the break. Rond, Ramirez, Thomas, Gardhouse and Roed all scored in the quarter.  The Regals kept the points coming in the second half, scoring three in the third and two in the fourth, as they defeated the Tigers 15-1. 

The Regals continue their season with their final away game of 2019. CLU is at Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday with the start set for 4 p.m. 

Interview with Mardell Ramirez and Christin Hirn:

Box Score: CLU 15, OXY 1
CLU Instagram: @clusports
Sport IG: @regals_water_polo
CLU Twitter: @CLUSports
Sport Twitter: @CLUwWaterPolo
CLU Facebook: @clusports
Hashtags: #clusports #ownthethrone #goregals #gokingsmen #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director