THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Division III No. 1-ranked/host/Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Champion California Lutheran University utilized a 12-2 run over the final three quarters to overwhelm Division III No. 8 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 17-8, at the Samuelson Aquatics Center in the semifinals of the 2022 USA Water Polo Division III Collegiate Water Polo Championship.
Cal Lutheran advances to face Division III No. 2/SCIAC runner-up the University of Redlands at 12:30 p.m. Pacific/3:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, December 4, for the Division III National Championship, while Division III Eastern Championship runner-up MIT squares off with Division III No. 5/Division III Eastern Champion Johns Hopkins University at 10:30 a.m. Pacific/1:30 p.m. Eastern for Third Place.
The Kingsmen jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 6:07 via a five-meter penalty shot by Dillon Goldsmith before a goal from first-year Adam Ivatorov (Fr., Rockaway, N.Y./Staten Island Technical) at 5:15 off an assist by Miller Geschke (Sr, Los Altos, Calif./Menlo School) tied the match. Adam Dow scored at 3:28 to put the hosts back in the lead before first-year Luke Apostolides (Fr., Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School) connected for a man-up strike with 2:59 left on the quarter’s clock to even the match at two.
Tied at two-all after eight minutes of action, Cal Lutheran went on a 6-0 run to claim an 8-2 lead entering halftime. Luke Matthies (7:41), Justin Boals (3:41), Ben Brown (3:06; four seconds) and Goldsmith (2:13, man-up; 41 seconds, man-up) accounted for the run as the Kingsmen pulled away from the Engineers.
Junior Evan Kowal (Jr., South Pasadena, Calif./South Pasadena) opened the second half with a score at 5:55, but the Kingsman went on another 6-0 run to pull ahead 14-3 with 1:19 on the clock.
Matthies (5:35; 1:48), Brown (4:55), David Brandt (4:11) and Goldsmith (2:38; 1:19) accounted for Cal Lutheran’s surge prior to Geschke terminating the run with 1:12 left in the frame to move the Engineers to within 10 at 14-4.
Following Conrad Oakes (Sr., Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Preparatory School) coming off the bench to replace MIT starting goalie Colin Weaver (Jr., Huntington Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter, Cal Lutheran further padded its lead as Adam Dow dumped in a shot at 5:39 to make it 15-4. Ivatorov responded at 5:17 via an assist by Richard Yun (So., Irvine, Calif./Arnold O. Beckman), but Dow lined in a shot following a feed from Lincoln Hall at 4:58 to return Cal Lutheran’s lead to 11 at 16-5.
Geschke inched MIT back to within 10 at 16-6 with 3:11 remaining in regulation prior to Apostolides converting a man-up opportunity at 1:28 to shrink Cal Lutheran’s margin to 16-7.
Bryan Lynch wrapped up the offense for the Kingsmen with 36 seconds left to establish the 17-7 final score.
For MIT, Ivatorov (two goals), Apostolides (two goals, one assist, four drawn exclusions, one steal), Kowal (one goal) and Geschke (two goals, one assist, three steals) factored in the field, while Weaver (two saves, 14 goals against, 25:36, two steals) and Oakes (three goals against, 6:24, one steal) appeared in cage.
On the other side of the tank, Brandt (one goal, one assist, one steal), Taylor Garcia (three assists, two drawn exclusions), Goldsmith (five goals, one assist, two drawn exclusions, one steal), Boals (one goal, one drawn exclusion, one steal), Brown (three goals, two assists, three steals), Dow (three goals, one assist, five steals), Matthies (three goals, two assists, two drawn exclusions, one steal) and Lynch (one goal) accounted for the Kingsmen’s scoring.
Bo DuBois (seven goals against, six saves) earned the win between the pipes.