PASADENA — Rey Julian Castillo almost single-handedly beat Cal Lutheran, scoring an incredible seven goals through three quarters to give the La Verne men's water polo team an 8-4 edge going into the fourth quarter.
But the Leopards ran out of steam in the final frame and the Kingsmen scored five unanswered goals to eke out a 9-8 win over La Verne on Saturday in the second round of the 2016 SCIAC Championship.
Castillo and the Leopards seemed to take over in the third quarter. The Puerto Rico native rattled off four unanswered goals in the period and the defense led by goaltender Ian Hernandez gave the Leopards a 8-4 lead.
La Verne gave Cal Lutheran an opening early in the fourth with a major foul and the Kingsmen took advantage, scoring on the ensuing power play. The Kingsmen tallied three more unanswered goals to tie the game at 8-8 with 4:21 left in the game.
Zack Card gave Cal Lutheran its first lead of the game on a penalty shot with 2:58 to go and the Leopards couldn't convert on a handful of chances they got the rest of the way.
The Leopards will face Occidental tomorrow at 10 a.m. in seventh-place game.
Game 1 (Friday): Redlands 16, La Verne 5
The Leopards' offense stalled at the most inopportune time, scoring the fewest goals in SCIAC play this season in a 16-5 loss to Redlands in the first round.
But the Bulldogs quickly regrouped to score six unanswered goals and shut the Leopards out in the second quarter to make it an 8-3 game heading into the half. La Verne added just two goals in the third while Redlands scored eight more in the second half.
Billy Clifford and Danny Hartwig each posted hat tricks for the Bulldogs.
The Leopards are back in action tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. against Cal Lutheran.