CMS Men's Water Polo Pulls Away From Chapman in Second Half for 16-9 Win
ORANGE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team used a 6-0 run spanning both halves, with four of the goals coming from senior Will Clark, as it captured a 16-9 road win over Chapman on Wednesday evening at Allred Aquatic Center.
Sam Harrison matched Clark for team-high honors with four goals, as CMS improves to 9-9 on the season and gets over .500 in conference play at 4-3 to solidify its hold on fourth place (the top four teams receive bids to the conference tournament). Chapman, meanwhile, slips to 1-4 in league play with the loss.
Clark scored two straight goals to tie the score up 5-5 in the second quarter, and then had two straight goals in the third to turn a 7-5 lead into a 9-5 advantage. Len Korol started the second half with a goal to put CMS up by two, and then Clark scored, had a steal, and scored again 21 seconds later to give the Stags a 9-5 lead, less than eight minutes after falling behind 5-3.
The Panthers snapped the run after CMS goalie Noah Smith, who had a strong effort with 14 saves, was called for an exclusion. Chapman got to within three goals on three occasions, the last at 11-8, but CMS used its strong depth to pull away in the fourth, with Cristian Pang scoring a pair of goals in the frame to help the Stags extend their winning margin up to 16-9.
Chapman threatened to open up a lead in the second quarter after the game was tied 2-2 after the first eight minutes, twice pulling ahead by two goals. The Stags, though, were able to close out with three straight goals, the first half of their 6-0 run, to take a 6-5 lead into the break. Clark scored two straight goals to tie the score, and then Christian Thornton scored with just seven seconds left off a feed from Korol to give CMS its first lead of the match, just before the halftime buzzer.
In the first quarter, it was Harrison who had the honors of beating the buzzer, knotting the score up at 2-2 with just one second left on the clock. Harrison also scored the first CMS goal to tie the score at 1-1 after the Panthers had struck first.
Rob Driscoll, Eric Warmoth and Kyle Ballack each had two assists for CMS, which had nine different goal-scorers, with Clark, Harrison and Pang recording multi-goal games. Smith's 14 saves were his second-most this season, behind only the 18 he had against Concordia before he was named the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 13.
CMS will next be in action when it returns home to Axelrood Pool to face La Verne for an 11 a.m. contest on Saturday.