Men’s Water Polo Sweeps at Gary Troyer | Upsets No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer & No. 4 Johns Hopkins

Image Credit: Kylie Calabrese-Kenny
Image Credit: Kylie Calabrese-Kenny

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The University of Redlands Men's Water Polo team came away with their two biggest wins of 2022 upsetting the No. 1 ranked team in Division III Pomona-Pitzer 9-8 before handling No. 4 Johns Hopkins University 11-4. 

The Maroon and Grey who entered the weekend No. 8 in the CWPA Division III Polls with 66 points turned some heads as they extended their winning streak to six games, while improving their record to 9-6, 2-0 SCIAC.

Game 1 (Pomona-Pitzer; W, 9-8)

You'll need to go back to 2016 to find the last time the Bulldogs beat the Sagehens, which came during the Inland Empire Classic on September 10. The final score was 13-11.  That same year the Maroon and Grey finished 18-15.  With the win Redlands also handed Pomona-Pitzer their first SCIAC Regular Season loss since November 9, 2019.       

The Bulldogs who look poised for a deep run within conference play stayed close with the Sagehens in the opening quarter keeping it a one-score game.  Spencer Clinton (Cypress, CA) put away the first at the halfway mark of the period and Jake Rose (San Diego, CA) would get UR within one following a finish with :21 seconds left in the quarter.

The difference in the game came across the second eight minute period where Redlands shutout the Sagehens, while tacking on another two goals to take a 4-3 lead into the half.  Spencer Sellwood (Irvine, CA) tied the game up at the 6:35 mark and Thomas Byrne (Boulder, CO) would put Redlands on top with 4:05 left.  Both goals came via a power play. 

It was a stalemate the rest of the way with both teams putting up a goal in the third quarter and another four in the fourth.  Andrew Higginson (San Diego, CA) made it a two-score game quickly in the third again using a 6-on-5 advantage.  But PP would rally with three unanswered one coming at the end of the third and another two to start the final period.  This put the Sagehens up one at 6-5, but it would be the last lead they would hold as Redlands would storm back with man-up goals from Callum Norman (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Drake Moody (Camarillo, CA), along with another tally from Sellwood.

Pomona-Pitzer cut the deficit to one with 2:00 minutes to play and had an opportunity to tie the game up with a 1:00 left after an exclusion was called on Moody.  PP then took a timeout to draw up a play, but it could not come to fruition, as they would turn the ball over allowing Redlands to come away with the upset.

Liam Murphy (Placentia, CA) put together one of his best games of his career posting 14 saves, playing all 32:00 minutes, while collecting a .636 save percentage.  Sellwood and Norman each had two goals a piece, while Higginson finished with a goal, an assist, and two steals.             

Game 2 (Johns Hopkins; W, 11-4)

Redlands made it a clean sweep on the day after beating No. 4 Johns Hopkins University 11-4.   The Maroon and Grey have now beaten the Blue Jays five consecutive years.

The Bulldogs got the offense going quickly with two quick goals from Moody and Max Wagener (Piedmont, CA).  JHU cut the deficit in half soon after, but that's as close as they would get as UR would string together four unanswered from Andrew Sorensen, Ron Gvishi (Kiryat Tivon, Israel), and Higginson that spanned midway through the third quarter. 

The Blue Jays ended the run at the 3:50 mark of the period to make it a four-goal game, but could not build off of it as Redlands would tally six of the next seven goals to put the game away.  During the run Wagener and Moody added their second goals of the game and Rose, Austin Galanski (Bakersfield, CA) and Alec Abrahamian (Glendale, CA) would provide support.

Murphy got the start in goal and played 24:00 minutes finishing with 10 saves, two steals and an .833 save percentage.  Brandon Khalil (Bakersfield, CA) played the final quarter posting two saves and a steal.  Moody finished with a pair of goals, an assist and two steals, Wagener had two goals and a steal, and Higginson would come up with two goals, an assist, a drawn exclusion and another steal.                 

Redlands returns to the pool this Wednesday, October 5 looking to extend their winning streak as they travel to Thousand Oaks, CA for a match-up with the Kingsmen beginning at 4:00pm.