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Noah Smith helped CMS to a 10-4 SCIAC record (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Noah Smith helped CMS to a 10-4 SCIAC record (photo by Caelyn Smith)

Smith Wins SCIAC Defensive Player of the Year; Clark, Thornton, Harrison Named All-SCIAC

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior goalie Noah Smith was named the SCIAC Men's Water Polo Defensive Player of the Year, and was joined on the All-SCIAC first team by Will Clark and Christian Thornton, while Sam Harrison earned a spot on the second team, the league office announced today.

Smith had a big year to help CMS to a 15-10 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the SCIAC. He totaled 216 saves for a .511 save percentage and had a goals against average of an even 10.0, despite a difficult schedule featuring numerous Division I teams. In league games, his numbers improved to a .553 save percentage and an 8.86 goals against average, capping off his year with 16 saves in a 16-7 win at Whittier last week, which enabled CMS to move up to the third seed in the upcoming SCIAC Tournament. He was also twice named the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week, including a big effort in a 10-6 road win over second-place Cal Lutheran. 

Clark led CMS in scoring this season, the third time in three years of competition that he could claim that feat. He finished the regular season with 37 goals and 28 assists on the year for 65 points, while also tallying 16 steals. He had eight hat tricks on the year, including two games with four goals in back-to-back games against Redlands and Chapman, after which he earned the SCIAC Offensive Player of the Week honor.  He also had three goals and three assists in a one-goal win over Occidental, which helped CMS secure a SCIAC Tournament bid. 

Thornton was right behind Clark in the goal scoring department in the regular season, finishing with 36, including 19 in SCIAC contests. He capped off the year with a hat trick in the big road win over Whittier last week, and had a season-high of four goals which he accomplished twice, once in a win over Division I Navy and once against No. 12 Pepperdine. He also had a combined five goals in the two meetings with Pomona-Pitzer, and scored three times in a win over Johns Hopkins. 

Harrison finished the season with 29 goals and enters the postseason with a streak of at least one goal in each of the last eight CMS contests, including two in the win over Whittier last week. He started the streak by matching his season high with four goals in a win over Chapman, matching the total that he had in a win over Concordia in the Inland Empire Classic. He also had a season-high seven points in a road win over Occidental. 

CMS will open SCIAC Tournament play on Friday with a road game at Cal Lutheran, which begins at 3 p.m. A win in that contest would advance the Stags through to the SCIAC Championship, which would either be at Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday, or home against Whittier, depending on the other semifinal winner.