The University of Redlands men's water polo team took on quality opponents on day two of the 2019 Inland Empire Classic during Sunday's action at the Thompson Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs shined in their 16-5 victory over Ottawa University of Arizona. In addition, the Maroon and Gray battled Pepperdine University until the very end in a 10-12 decision and cruised to a 15-6 victory over Riverside City College to cap off a solid weekend.
Against the Ottawa Spirit, the Maroon and Gray benefitted from a three-goal outburst from senior center Cooper Krause (Denver, CO) in the first four minutes of the game. Three different Bulldogs fed him the ball for an excellent start.
Although Ottawa answered with two consecutive goals, Redlands pulled away with a 5-2 run in the second period. Senior attacker Carter Kerwin (Bakersfield, CA), and junior attackers Jasen Swan (Glendora, CA) and Chris Frejlach (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) each found the back of the net once early on, while sophomore attacker Tor Cole (Malibu, CA) added to the onslaught. With Frejlach's second goal of the quarter and Krause's fourth of the game, Redlands owned a 9-4 advantage at the midway point of the game.
The team continued to roll while using a variety of players, as highlighted by goals from first-year utility player Ryan Pilotte (Townson, MD), first-year attacker Garrett Tully (Yucaipa, CA), first-year center Conner Strabel (Canyon Lake, CA), and sophomore attacker Chris Allen (Fullerton, CA).
Defensively, the Bulldogs gained a stellar performance from junior goalkeeper Chris Martinez (Santa Ana, CA), who tallied 10 saves and two steals in just 24 minutes, while first-year goalkeeper Liam Murphy (Placentia, CA) spelled him for a period by making two saves.
In their second game of the day, the Bulldogs faced an early deficit against the Waves but fought back in the fourth quarter. Down by five goals going into the final eight minutes, Redlands came up with huge defensive stops to keep Pepperdine scoreless while producing three more goals in a fine showing.
Overall, senior attacker Spencer Allen (Long Beach, CA), Kerwin, Cole, and Swan each fired off two goals in the loss. Kerwin and Martinez combined for seven steals, as Martinez also notched seven saves.
Against RCC, the Bulldogs enjoyed the opportunity to play a new mix of competitors, as they gained experience in a solid win. Although the Tigers kept it close through the first two periods, Redlands stepped up by outscoring them, 5-0, in the third to take control of the game. First-year center Michael Driscoll (Escondido, CA) impressed with a five-goal outing on just five shots, as Allen, Pilotte, and first-year attacker Drake Moody (Camarillo, CA) added to the Bulldogs' firepower.
First-year goalkeeper Brandon Khalil (Bakersfield, CA), sophomore goalkeeper Jason Gates (San Jose, CA), and first-year goalkeeper Bryce Elsner (Carlsbad, CA) shared time in the cage for a combined 12 saves, with Elsner leading the effort with seven.
On Saturday, September 21, Redlands (4-5) hosts Concordia University at 11 a.m. and Grossmont College at 3 p.m.