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Christian Thornton (l) and Will Clark (r) were first-team selections
Christian Thornton (l) and Will Clark (r) were first-team selections

Six Stags Earn ACWPC All-America Honors; Clark, Thornton Selected to First Team

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Six members of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team earned Division III All-America honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches, the organization announced this week.

Seniors Will Clark and Christian Thornton earned selections to the ACWPC All-America first team for the Stags, while seniors Sam Harrison and Noah Smith were chosen to the second team. Senior Robert Driscoll and sophomore Cristian Pang earned honorable mention distinction. 

Clark led CMS in scoring for the third time in his three seasons of competition (missing a year due to the pandemic), finishing with 41 goals and 32 assists for 73 points. He earned All-America honors for the second time in his career and was also a first-team All-SCIAC selection, after a season in which he had eight hat tricks, including back-to-back four-goal games in wins over Redlands and Chapman.

Thornton was close behind Clark with 38 goals, earning All-America honors for the first time in his career while also being named to the All-SCIAC first team. He had some of his best games against top competition, scoring four goals against Pepperdine and two goals against USC, while adding a four-goal game against Navy.

Harrison ended the year with 35 goals to earn postseason honors for the first time as well, picking up a pair of goals in both games of the USA Water Polo Division III National Championships, and contributing a seven-point game (three goals, four assists) against Occidental.

Smith earned the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Year honor after compiling a 9.97 goals against average and a .513 save percentage in his third season as the CMS goalie. He had a career-high 18 saves and allowed only six goals in a SCIAC Semifinal win over Cal Lutheran, which secured a bid to the USA Water Polo championships for the Stags. 

Driscoll also made it on to the All-America list for the first time after tallying 25 goals and also winning 24 of his 26 sprints. He had at least one goal in each of his last eight games (four of which were postseason contests), including a two-goal effort in a win over Johns Hopkins in the semifinals.

Pang earned honorable mention honors after his first collegiate season, the only non-senior on the CMS awards list, totaling 31 goals in his debut year. He had a personal-best four-goal effort in the national championship game, surpassing his previous high of two goals which he had accomplished 10 times (including a semifinal win over Johns Hopkins). 

The Stags finished the season with a 17-12 record and reached the finals of the USA Water Polo Division III Championship for the second straight season (including the inaugural year of the tournament in 2019), where it ended as the runner-up after an overtime defeat.  

To view the complete All-America list, head to the following link:

ACWPC Division III All-America Team