The University of Redlands men's water polo team took on Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competitor, Occidental College, on a beautiful Wednesday night under the lights at the Thompson Aquatic Center. Although the Tigers kept things close through the first half, Redlands exploded for eight goals in the second to take the contest, 15-9.
The Bulldogs jumped ahead with three goals in the first and despite Occidental nearly catching up, Redlands kept its momentum and never trailed the entire game.
The Maroon and Gray's offense picked up in the second quarter as senior attacker Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA) put one through the posts just two minutes into the period. After a Tiger goal, the Bulldogs netted two straight scores off the hands of Allen and first-year center Conner Strabel (Canyon Lake, CA). Both goals were scored off of sweet assists from senior attacker Reece Koe (Camarillo, CA). Allen finished off the second with his third goal of the quarter to give the Bulldogs a 7-4 lead headed into halftime.
After the teams traded scores to open the third, Redlands erupted for three consecutive goals from Strabel, senior center-defender Carl Matthews (Yorba Linda, CA), and senior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA). Following a high-scoring third quarter, the Bulldogs owned a 13-7 lead over Occidental.
In the fourth, Kerwin and first-year center Michael Driscoll (Escondido, CA) each found the back of the net to solidify the 15-9 conference victory.
Strabel ended the game with four goals and an assist. Allen and Kerwin followed that up with three goals apiece. First-year goalkeeper Liam Murphy (Placentia, CA) had a nice outing racking up nine saves.
Redlands (7-6, 2-1 SCIAC) makes a quick turnaround with two games, tomorrow, October 3, first against Fordham University (NY) at 3:30 p.m. and then McKendree University (IL) at 7 p.m.