Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The highly anticipated match-up between the Poets and Bulldogs in the pool went the way of the Purple & Gold Saturday morning as the Whittier College Men's Water Polo team held on for the 6-4 victory at the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center.
The Poets remain perfect in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition as they improve to 5-7, 4-0 SCIAC, while holding a strong grasp on the top spot in the SCIAC standings.
A combined 10 goals were scored in the game as Whittier held the Bulldogs to a mere four goals on 21 shots, the lowest output of an opponent thus far this season.
Both teams added two goals in the first quarter with freshman Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) adding both for the Purple & Gold. He returned the very next period to put the Poets on top at 3-2, which they would hold into the half.
Redlands fought back in the third outscoring WC 2-1, with Whittier's lone goal coming from Ryan Flores (Whittier, Calif.) getting fed by Zdolsek. This deadlocked the game at 4-4 heading into the fourth. In the final eight minutes, it was all Whittier as Zdolsek added his fourth of the game, while senior Aidan Tol (Tustin, Calif.) added insurance. But the story of the game was the defensive unit as they shutout the Bulldogs two of the four quarters, while inducing 12 turnovers.
Whittier outshot UR 28-21 but was 0-5 on power-play opportunities. Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) picked up the win after being ill and put together one of his best games of the season finishing with four saves and three steals.
Zdolsek finished with six points, four goals and two assists to lead the Poets but also registered three steals.
Following an afternoon match-up with Division I Loyola Marymount today, the Poets will return home on Wednesday, October 4 to host Chapman University beginning at 7:00pm.