Late comeback falls just shy for men’s water polo

Wesley Hertel blocks a shot.
Wesley Hertel (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's water polo team rallied late in the fourth quarter to surge for a comeback but fell short to the visiting Redlands Bulldogs 9-8. The Panthers (3-12, 1-3 SCIAC) were led in goal by junior Wesley Hertel, who posted 12 saves in the close match.

Hertel was pivotal in Chapman's comeback effort, allowing only one goal in the final quarter of play. The junior captain also tallied a steal as the Panthers fell to the Bulldogs.

Neither team could garner much offense in the first quarter and the two squads headed into the second quarter tied 1-1.

The second quarter saw a surge of offense as Redlands (5-10, 3-1 SCIAC) took a 2-1 lead just over a minute into the quarter. Senior Brady Hoskins and junior Vasil Halchev answered with two consecutive goals to give Chapman the lead. The Bulldogs immediately fired back with two goals of their own, bringing the score to 4-4 heading into the second half of play.

Redlands took charge in the third quarter, out-scoring Chapman 4-1 to take an 8-5 lead with just eight minutes left on the scoreboard.

A goal with just under five and a half minutes left to play extended the Bulldogs' lead to 9-5, but the Panthers rallied for a late-match comeback. Halchev found the back of the net with just under four minutes left to play. Sophomore Hunter Ramaekers fired next, scoring with 1:22 left on the clock.

Redlands ran out the clock leaving just one minute left to play with Chapman holding possession of the ball. Freshman Graham Asalone found a gap and fired, scoring his 25th goal of the season and bringing the Panthers back within just one point. The Bulldogs ran out the clock once more, leaving Chapman's offense to tie the match with just 13 seconds left. A last-second block from sophomore goalkeeper Chris Martinez allowed Redlands to hold on to their 9-8 lead and secure its third conference victory.

Halchev tallied a hat trick in the effort, as well as two assists, four steals and one earned ejection. Asalone posted one assist, two steals and four earned ejections for the Panthers. Hoskins tacked on three steals for Chapman, while freshman Brad Wilson tallied two assists.

The Panthers head to Claremont, Calif. this weekend to play four matches in the Gary Troyer Tournament but return home on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to host Cal Lutheran at 4pm.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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