Courtesy: Redlands Athletics
The University of Redlands women’s water polo team welcomed Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competitor, Chapman University to the Thompson Aquatic Center for an 11 a.m. game on a beautiful Saturday morning. Through an extremely tight contest, the Bulldogs came out on top of an exciting, 10-9, decision.
The teams traded scores through the opening eight minutes of action with Chapman holding a slight, 4-3, lead at the end of the first stanza.
Junior attacker Ally Feeley (Menlo Park, CA) initiated the second period scoring with a successful penalty shot. Shortly after, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game when first-year attacker Emily Feliciano (Tacoma, WA) found sophomore attacker Alyssa Baratelle (Lake Elsinore, CA) for the goal and a 5-4 score. Although the Panthers tied things back up two minutes later, sophomore goalkeeper Tori Zielinski (Sunnyvale, CA) made a pair of saves to enter halftime with things all tied up at 5-apiece.
Chapman struck first in the third, but junior attacker Holly Kvanvig (Beaverton, OR) equalized the score only 10 seconds later to give the Bulldogs some momentum. Feliciano continued to dish out the assists, this time finding first-year attacker Kaitlynn Pierceall (Beaumont, CA) for her first goal in the Maroon and Gray and a 7-6 score with 5:31 left in the third.
Play quickened with more scoring for both teams, to enter the final quarter in an 8-8 stalemate.
With 4:30 left in the game, Kvanvig took advantage of a 5-meter penalty shot to go up 9-8, but Chapman found the back of the net two minutes later for a 9-9 tie and time rapidly running out.
Now with only 20 ticks left on the clock, sophomore attacker Katrina Nielsen (Houston, TX) swiped a steal and headed to the other end of the pool. She made some crafty moves around Panther defenders and put the ball over the goalkeeper’s head for the eventual, 10-9, game-winning score with only 13 seconds left. Redlands’ defense took care of Chapman in the remaining seconds to secure the hard-fought, thrilling win.
Kvanvig led the team with three goals while Zielinski tallied 10 saves between the post. Nielsen registered the game-winner and also swiped three steals.
Redlands (1-0, 1-0 SCIAC) welcomes the Cal Lutheran regals to the TAC next Saturday, April 3, for an 11 a.m. matchup.