COSTA MESA, Calif. --- Playing under the lights, No. 18 California Baptist University received elite performances from around the pool to beat Vanguard University 12-7 on Friday night.
Chris Toy scored four goals to lead the Lancers' offensive attack, starting with the eventual game winner at 4:12 in the third quarter, breaking the three goal halftime tie and giving CBU the lead for good.
Matt Puig, returning from injury, scored three, including two in the third quarter.
"Those two really stepped it up offensively for us," Head Coach Rick Rowland said. "Puig was out a couple week but he came back with a lot of pride today, really. Toy is really consistent."
Despite falling to a one goal deficit early, CBU got on the board with a successful penalty shot from Cody Wetherbee that was quickly followed by a goal from Scott Gleason with 3:23 left in the first quarter to give the Lancers the 2-1 lead.
Offense for both teams stalled in the second quarter after Vanguard scored on a 6-on-5 advantage with 5:48 left, leading to the three-all tie at half.
In recent games, CBU has struggled with poor third quarter showings, but bounced back today with four third quarter goals.
"We kept our guys fresh and used our speed up the pool in the second half and that is where we took over the game," Rowland said. "We started transitioned better and finishing those transition goals. That really helped."
Peter Hines and Cameron Custance each found the back of the net early in the fourth quarter giving CBU a comfortable lead at 10-5. Vanguard rallied some but Toy squashed all hopes of a come-back with two fourth quarter goals himself.
To seal the game, goalkeeper Austen Ramer went goal to goal, scoring on a full-court shot on a vacant Vanguard net. Defensively, Ramer tallied 10 saves and eight steals to be CBU's statistical MVP, according to Rowland.
Ramer was a big part of the Lancer defense that held the Lions to just four successful 6-on-5 runs on 10 opportunities. On the other end, CBU went three of four with the same advantage.
"That was our improvement," Rowland said.
CBU and Vanguard have previously met twice this season, most recently in a 14-13 shootout to the Lancers advantage.
"The last time we played these guys, their 6-on-5 defense was really good and we shot a really low percentage," Rowland said. "We went three of four. That is huge."
The Lions won't have to wait long for yet another crack at the Lancers. The two will meet on Friday, Nov. 18 in their first game of the CWPA National Invite hosted in the Lancer Aquatics Center.
"We know each other too well," Rowland said. "It's really tough to beat a team four out of four but we got to get that fourth win. Our goal is to get through this next tournament undefeated and finish the season on a high note."
Over two days, CBU will face Vanguard, Fresno Pacific and Concordia. First sprint off is set for 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 18.