The University of Redlands men's water polo team took on the Poets of Whittier College in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) matchup on Wednesday evening. Despite an extremely tight game, the Maroon and Gray ultimately fell by a final score of 9-11.
Although Whittier jumped on the board with the first two scores, junior attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) nailed a penalty shot to cut the deficit in half with 1:37 left on the clock.
Afterward, momentum seemed to shift in favor of Whittier, scoring three straight to put Redlands in a 1-5 hole at the 5:51 minute-mark in the second.
Three minutes later, junior attacker Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA) took advantage of another Whittier penalty with a score of his own. Redlands' defense stepped up in the final minutes of the second as senior attackers Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) and Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA) both swiped a steal and junior goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) made a key stop to keep the Poets at bay.
With just 13 ticks left on the clock, first-year attacker Drake Moody (Camarillo, CA) closed the gap to just two, to send Redlands into the break at 3-5.
The third started much like the second did, as Whittier scored the first three goals of the stanza. But the Bulldogs remained relentless as Frejlach found the back of the net at the 4:01-minute mark. On the other end of the pool, the Maroon and Gray followed that up with two field blocks to stay in the game. Goals from senior center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO), Frejlach, and first-year attacker Michael Driscoll (Escondido, CA) pulled the Bulldogs within one, at 7-8, with 1:45 left.
Fast forward to the 5:44-minute mark in the fourth. With Redlands down 7-11, the Bulldog offense became invigorated with two scores, but time was just not on their side as the buzzer signaled the end of the game and a tough 9-11 loss.
Frejlach ended the night with a team-leading four goals while Allen won both sprints in the second half.
Redlands (11-10, 4-3 SCIAC) attempts to flip the script when they return home on Saturday, October 26, for an 11 a.m. game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.