The men’s water polo team suffered a 15-7 defeat to Redlands Saturday at the La Verne Aquatic Center.
The Bulldogs’ physical play was the difference in the Leopard loss.
“They were a lot more physical than we expected,” junior center Tyler Hunt said. “They were the bigger and stronger team today.”
Hunt tallied three goals in La Verne’s losing effort.
With the score 2-1 heading into the second quarter Redlands junior driver Michael Robinson scored back-to-back goals for the Bulldogs.
Robinson scored three total goals in the quarter and four for the game as Redlands had a 6-3 lead heading into halftime.
With the score 7-4 in the third quarter, Redlands’ senior driver Quinn Curl scored back-to-back goals to give the Bulldogs a comfortable lead.
“You can’t get caught up in the physicality of the game,” head coach Alex La said. “You got to outplay it.”
Redlands outscored La Verne 6-1 in the third to take a 12-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“We played pretty well in the first half,” sophomore utility player Troy Williams said. “They just got physical and we took it the wrong way. We got frustrated. We need to keep our temper under control.”
La Verne played well in the fourth quarter outscoring Redlands 3-2. The fourth quarter goals came from senior attacker Bosko Dimic, senior defender Daniel Hargis, and sophomore attacker Bryan Jimenez.
Jimenez was a bright spot for the Leopards offensively scoring two goals in the losing effort.
The Leopards’ seven goals ties a season low for goals scored in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.
“We need to figure out a way to play a complete game,” La said. “We believe we can go out and beat any team. We just got to go out there and execute.”
With the loss La Verne currently has a 6-19 overall season record and a 2-5 record in SCIAC.
The Leopards will conclude its 2013 regular season campaign as they take on Pomona-Pitzer at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the La Verne Aquatic Center. It will be La Verne’s senior game.
“We have to stay under control,” Williams said. “Pomona-Pitzer is a tough team, but I think we can get them.”
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at email@example.com.