Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team escaped the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center Wednesday night with an 11-9 win over the Uni. of Redlands.
The Purple & Gold remain perfect in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play at 5-0 and improve to 9-10 overall. Redlands drops to 11-10, 4-3 SCIAC.
Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.) and Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.) got the Poets offense started with a pair of goals in the first quarter. After being held scoreless across the opening eight a half minutes Redlands finally connected at the 1:37 mark from Chris Frejlach who converted a 5-meter. Whittier increased their lead to 5-1 following three unanswered from Murphy, Nevarez, and Micah Kamai (Irvine, Calif.). But this advantage wouldn't hold as UR would finish another 5-meter from Jason Swan followed by an even goal from Drake Moody that got the Bulldogs within two at the break.
In the second half Whittier got their offense back going again stringing together three straight with Nevarez adding a couple and Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) finishing for his first of the game. This moved the score to 8-3, but again UR would battle back with four straight, sparked by a 5-meter that got them within one at 8-7. Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) was able to stop the run at the 1:16 mark in the quarter capitalizing on a man-up. That swung the momentum back to the Purple & Gold as they would get two more to start the 4th from Murphy and Borunda. This stretched the lead back to four with 5:44 to play and that would be enough despite Redlands adding a 5-Meter and an even goal that got them within two.
Back-up goalie Dylan Woodhouse (Harare, Zimbabwe) got the start for Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) who was sick. Woodhouse picked up his first win for the Poets finishing with eight saves and a steal. Nevarez added four goals, a pair of assists and a steal. Murphy registered three strikes, an assist and a steal and Borunda chipped in with two goals and two dimes.
Whittier outshot Redlands 35-28 and was 5-for-8 on power-plays. Defensively they were solid holding the Bulldogs to 0-5 shooting on man-up opportunities, while allowing them only five regular goals on the evening.
Whittier remains at home this Saturday, October 19 when they host Caltech beginning at 11:00am. The same day they travel in the afternoon to take on UCLA beginning at 5:00pm.