LA VERNE, CA — Ian Hernandez was a force in the cage, the Leopards surged ahead in the second quarter, and the University of La Verne men's water polo team beat the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen in their SCIAC home opener 7-4 Saturday afternoon.
The Leopards notch their second win of the season improving to 2-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play. La Verne opened the season with a tough schedule, playing five teams ranked in the top-twelve nationally including now No. 1 USC.
Cal Lutheran falls to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in SCIAC play.
The Leopards played smothering defense against the Kingsmen, allowing just two goals through the first three quarters. Along with Hernadez's outstanding goalie play, La Verne totaled eight steals, including two by both Hernandez and Rex Sample.
La Verne spread the wealth offensively with six different Leopards finding the back of the net. Ortega led La Verne with two goals. Joey Sabers, Charles Lewandowski, Jason Soo Hoo, Michael Staine, and Hovanesian each scored once.
Sample and Hovanesian both dished out an assist.
Cal Lutheran was led by Dillon Goldsmith's two goals.
How it Happened
After the squads ended the first eight minutes even 1-1, the Leopards rallied in the second quarter. Ortega scored just under a minute and a half into the period to give La Verne its first lead of the day, and he followed it just over 30 seconds later with his second goal. Sabers added his goal midway through the period, sending the Leopards into the break up 4-1.
The Kingsmen didn't fold, scoring a pair of goals in the final period to cut the Leopards' lead to just two with 3:13 remaining in the game.
But Hovanesian sealed the win, stealing the ball with twenty seconds remaining, racing across the pool, and scoring the dagger.
La Verne next hosts the Whittier Poets on Wednesday, September 26 at 4 p.m.Watch Live Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram