The University of Redlands men's water polo team competed at home for the first time this season by hosting the Inland Empire Classic at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Saturday. The Bulldogs cruised to a 15-5 win over Occidental College to start the day before suffering a 2-18 loss to Long Beach State University.
Against the Tigers, senior attack player Kevin Chapa (Carlsbad, CA) initiated the scoring with the first goal of the game in the fourth minute of action. Junior center Billy Clifford (Redlands, CA) kept things moving in the right direction with another Bulldog netter less than 60 seconds later.
After Oxy pulled one back, the Maroon and Gray erupted for four-straight goals for a 6-1 lead with 3:29 to go in the second quarter. Sophomore utility player Kyle Jackson (Naperville, IL) and sophomore attack player Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA) joined Chapa for this offensive outburst.
Redlands entered the midway point of the contest with a 7-3 advantage, as freshman goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA) effectively patrolled the cage with three saves.
From here, the Bulldogs uncorked six-consecutive goals, with freshman utility player Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA), senior utility player Max Taylor (Henderson, NV), junior center-defender Sean Todd (Highland, CA), and sophomore center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO) serving as first-time scorers of the contest during this stretch.
With sophomore goalkeeper Braeden Shaw (Yorba Linda, CA) stepping up between the posts, the Maroon and Gray held Oxy to only two goals in the final 16 minutes en route to a 15-5 victory for the home squad.
Against Long Beach State, the Bulldogs struggled to create any offensive rhythm or slow down the firepower of the 49ers. Allen and freshman attack player Aaron White (San Jose, CA) recorded Redlands' only netters of the game.
The Bulldogs (1-2) faces a tough slate at the IE Classic on Sunday when they face Pepperdine University at 9 a.m., USC at 1 p.m., and Concordia University – Irvine at 3:40 p.m.