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Gavin Rosser scored three times in the Redlands win
Gavin Rosser scored three times in the Redlands win

CMS Men's Water Polo Defeats Redlands, Edged by Pomona-Pitzer

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team defeated Redlands 11-7 in its first game of the Triton Invitational on Sunday, but fell in another tight battle with Pomona-Pitzer 10-9 in the nightcap.

CMS moves to 1-3 on the year, following losses to UCLA and UC Santa Barbara yesterday. 

The last time CMS and Pomona-Pitzer played was at the USA Water Polo Division III championship last fall, which the Sagehens won in overtime to cap off a season where it went undefeated against non-Division I opponents. Both teams suffered heavy graduation losses, so it was uncertain how the first meeting might go this year, but it turned into the same type of close battle. 

In both the SCIAC Championship and the USA Water Polo Championship, Pomona-Pitzer used big fourth quarter performances to come away with the wins, but this time around, the Stags were the better team over the final eight minutes, going on a key 3-0 run with goals from Luke (Bear Weigle), Donovan Davidson and Gavin Rosser to tie the score 9-9. The Sagehens broke the tie on a late goal from Sam Sasaki with 1:26 left, and were able to hold on for the one-goal win.  

Pomona-Pitzer jumped out to a 3-1 lead early, but Thomas Walker rattled off three goals in a row to put the Stags in front 4-3 late in the first. The Sagehens shut out the Stags in the second quarter to take a 6-4 lead into the break, and after Davidson tied it 6-6, Pomona-Pitzer scored twice in the final minute of the third to take an 8-6 lead into the final period. Jake Taylor had a big second half in goal for the Stags, making seven key saves.

In the first match of the day against Redlands, Walker had four goals to lead the way as CMS earned the win over the first of two SCIAC rivals. The Stags started slow as they fell in an early 4-0 hole, but regrouped to score the next five and take a 5-4 lead into halftime. Gavin Rosser broke the ice with 1:34 left in the first quarter to pull CMS within 4-1, and four different players scored in a 4-0 second quarter, capped by a Davidson goal with 41 seconds left in the half to give the Stags their first lead. Ben Weldon, Weigle and Walker each had tallies as well during the 5-0 run. 

Redlands started the second half with a goal to tie it 5-5, but the Stags came up with another 4-0 run, as Walker gave CMS the lead for good, and Rosser had two straight tallies to make the score 8-5 after the third. Noah Weldon started the fourth quarter with a goal to push the lead to 9-5, and Walker answered a Redlands goal with two straight to put the game away. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend when it co-hosts the Inland Empire Classic, taking on USC (10:30 a.m.) and Concordia (2:30 p.m.) on Saturday, and then facing Westcliff (9 a.m.) and Air Force (1:30 p.m.) on Sunday.