CMS Splits on First Day of Gary Troyer; Falls to Hopkins, Defeats Fresno Pacific

Noah Smith makes a fingertip save in the first half of the win over Fresno Pacific (photo by Daniel Addison)
Noah Smith makes a fingertip save in the first half of the win over Fresno Pacific (photo by Daniel Addison)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team defeated Fresno Pacific for the third time this season, taking a 15-11 win to come away with a split on the first day of the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament at Axelrood Pool.

The Stags dropped their first match of the day to Johns Hopkins 9-8 to split their two matches and move to 6-7 on the year. 

After dropping a tough contest to Johns Hopkins, in which neither team ever had more than a one-goal lead, the Stags took control in the Fresno Pacific match early, jumping out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter. Five different players scored in the frame, with junior Nick Britt starting things off with a goal, and after the Sunbirds tied it 1-1, sophomore Will Clark, freshman Kyle Ballack and sophomore CJ Box all scored to make it a 4-1 game. Fresno Pacific broke the run, but sophomore Eric Warmoth beat the shot clock with a goal with 1:25 left in the first to make it a 5-2 contest. 

Box scored his second of the game to stretch the lead to 6-2, and senior Zack Rossman gave the Stags a 7-2 lead with 2:50 left in the half. After Fresno Pacific scored with 56 seconds left, sophomore Sam Harrison answered at the 32-second mark with a backwards flip over his head to make the score 8-3. The Sunbirds converted a five-meter with 16 seconds left to make the score 8-4 heading into the break. 

Junior Christian Thornton started the second half with two straight goals to give CMS its largest lead at 10-4, and first-year twins Noah Weldon and Ben Weldon scored two straight goals to push the lead to 12-5. Clark, junior Sean Pine and Warmoth all scored to make it a 15-7 game, before Fresno Pacific closed out on a 4-0 run to make the final 15-11. 

A total of 11 different players scored for CMS in the contest, with Warmoth, Clark, Thornton and Box each scoring two. Clark also added three assists for a team-high five points. Sophomore goalie Noah Smith had three saves and allowed four goals in the first half to get the win. 

In the opening match of the day, Nico Ivanov broke an 8-8 tie with 1:12 remaining, 40 seconds after Rossman had tied it 8-8, to give Johns Hopkins the win. Clark had two goals and three assists for the Stags in that contest as well, while Rossman scored twice, and Rob Driscoll, Harrison, Nick Britt and Ethan Lewis each had a goal. Noah Smith had eight saves in the loss in net. 

CMS will be back in action tomorrow for the second day of the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament, taking on California Baptist at 1 p.m. and Pepperdine at 6:20 p.m.