The University of Redlands men's water polo team took the short trip West to La Verne to take on the Leopards in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) matchup. Through an extremely tight and physical game, the Bulldogs remained relentless and took the match, 10-9.
The Maroon and Gray struck first as senior attacker Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) found senior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA) for the score at 7:09. Although La Verne managed two goals to go up 2-1 over the next six minutes, with 1:05 left, junior attacker Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) knotted the score at two.
With just 15 seconds left on the clock, Jackson blocked a Leopard shot and raced it to the other end of the pool. Senior center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO) quickly put one through the posts to go ahead 3-2 to enter the second period.
Momentum seemed to shift in favor of the Leopards in the second, putting the Bulldogs in a slight 5-6 hole to enter the break.
However, after a motivating halftime speech from Head Coach Tom Whittemore, Redlands went on a 3-1 run through the third to retake the lead at 8-7. Junior attacker Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA) started the spurt with a goal at 6:07 off a quick pass from Jackson. Swan mustered a solo goal two minutes later to knot the score at 7-7.
Thanks to junior goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) stopping a pair of La Verne shots, first-year center Michael Driscoll's (Escondido, CA) subsequent goal gave Redlands the 8-7 lead with just a minute left in the third.
Martinez continued to impress in the final period with three huge saves in the first four minutes of action. At 3:39 Jackson and Kerwin teamed up again for the score and a 10-8 lead.
Although La Verne scored another goal at 1:55, Martinez swiped a critical steal to solidify the exciting, 10-9, win.
Swan ended the night with three goals while Jackson added three assists and two steals. Martinez was a brick wall between the posts making 10 saves.
The Bulldogs (14-14, 7-6 SCIAC) welcome Chapman University to the Thompson Aquatic Center for an important game on Saturday, November 16, at 11 a.m. Prior to the start of the game, the team will be celebrating the careers of their seniors.