CMS Men's Water Polo Wins Fourth Straight, Holds on to Defeat Cal Lutheran 10-8

Nick Britt had three goals to help CMS to a 10-8 win (photo by Daniel Addison)
Nick Britt had three goals to help CMS to a 10-8 win (photo by Daniel Addison)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Zack Rossman and junior Nick Britt each had had tricks as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team won its fourth match in a row, defeating Cal Lutheran 10-8 on Wednesday afternoon at Axelrood Pool.

The win moves CMS to 11-8 on the year, including 6-1 in the SCIAC, staying one game behind Whittier for first place. Cal Lutheran, which came in with a nine-match win streak, slips to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in league play. 

The third quarter proved to be pivotal, as CMS scored six of its eight goals during the frame, turning a 4-3 halftime lead into a 10-5 lead heading into the fourth. Senior Ethan Lewis and Britt started off the third with two straight goals, both assisted by sophomore Will Clark, to make it a 6-3 CMS advantage. 

After Cal Lutheran scored to pull within 6-4, first-year center Noah Weldon scored on a post up off an entry pass from sophomore Sam Harrison to restore the three-goal lead. Rossman finished off his hat trick with 1:42 left in the third, and after Cal Lutheran scored with 1:09 left to close to 8-5, Britt scored two goals 32 seconds apart, the second in transition with one second left, to give CMS a 10-5 lead after three. 

Cal Lutheran crept back in it by scoring three goals in the fourth, pulling within 10-8 with 2:46 to go on the third goal from Ben Brown. Sophomore goalie Noah Smith, though, responded with two of his eight saves down the stretch to preserve the two-goal final margin. 

Clark scored the game's first goal before Cal Lutheran scored two straight to take its only lead of match. Rossman tied it with 1:12 left in the first, and junior center CJ Box tallied a goal in the final minute to give the Stags a 3-2 lead heading into the second.

CMS has now won four straight SCIAC matches since falling to Pepperdine on Oct. 6 in its final match of the Gary Troyer Tournament, with the first three coming on the road at Pomona-Pitzer, Occidental and Chapman. The Stags will try to keep the win streak going with two more road contests in the next week, including an 11 a.m. match at Redlands on Saturday, followed by a 4 p.m. match at La Verne next Wednesday.