The University of Redlands women's water polo team squared off against the visiting Chapman University Panthers on Tuesday at the Thompson Aquatic Center. In an incredibly tight showdown, the Bulldogs broke a late tie with a game-winning goal by junior center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) en route to the 6-5 victory.
Kahahawai put the Bulldogs on the board with 5:54 left in the first quarter when she snagged a pass from first-year attacker Katelyn Holloman (Wildomar, CA) for the score.
The Maroon and Gray kept clicking on offense, as junior attacker Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA) found first-year attacker Kelly Klish (Glenview, IL) for the home team's 2-0 lead with 4:47 left on the clock.
Redlands worked hard to keep the Panthers off-balanced, as junior goalkeeper Allison Totzke (San Bernardino, CA) snuck out of the cage twice for the steal.
After Chapman scored its first goal of the game, Redlands answered with back-to-back goals by Jenkins to close out the first and start the second quarter with plenty of offensive momentum.
Leading 4-1, the Bulldogs worked to minimize the Panthers' chances, but the visitors refused to go away and scored twice to cut the deficit to one.
Defensively, Totzke finished the first half with two saves before junior goalkeeper Kelly Grosswendt (Newbury Park, CA) took over the Redlands cage.
Jenkins completed her hat trick by firing a goal past the Chapman goalkeeper off a pass from senior attacker Michelle Na (Mercer Island, WA) with 37 seconds remaining in the third stanza.
The fourth quarter saw each team earn two exclusions, with Chapman taking advantage of the first one on a successful power play. The Panthers eventually tied up the game with another goal at the 2:23-mark.
Amidst back-and-forth play, the Bulldog defense forced Chapman into tough shots, with Grosswendt making a huge stop to put her team back on offense late in the fourth. Following a quick timeout, Redlands orchestrated a sweet play that culminated in Kahahawai taking a pass from Klish and rising up out of the pool for a beautiful game-winner.
The home team held on in the final Chapman possession with stellar defense and pressure.
Grosswendt provided four saves in the final 16 minutes for the Bulldogs.
Jenkins completed the game with three goals and an assist in a fine effort.
Redlands (4-11, 3-1 SCIAC) heads to Whittier College on Thursday, March 15, for an exhibition game at 4p.m. and a SCIAC match at 7 p.m.