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Luke (Bear) Weigle had the game-winner (photo by Keilee Bessho)
Luke (Bear) Weigle had the game-winner (photo by Keilee Bessho)

Weigle's Late Goal Gives CMS 11-10 Win over Air Force, Split of Sunday's Action

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Luke (Bear) Weigle had four goals, including the game-winner with nine seconds left, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team defeated Air Force 11-10 to conclude play at the Inland Empire Classic on Sunday at Axelrood Pool.

CMS, which fell to Westcliff 12-9 on Sunday morning, moves to 3-5 on the season with the day's split, while Air Force, which defeated Pomona-Pitzer 15-10 earlier on Sunday, slips to 7-3. 

Weigle's third goal put CMS ahead 10-7 with 4:54 left and put the Stags in solid control, before Air Force came back with a 3-0 run to tie it with 30 seconds left on a goal from Jackson Carter. CMS called timeout and worked the ball around the perimeter before a Thomas Walker entry pass to Weigle, who was able to fire home a shot inside the near post with nine seconds left. Air Force called its final timeout to try to set up a tying goal, but missed wide, as CMS was able to hold on for the dramatic win.

Air Force led 2-0 four minutes in, but CMS outscored the Falcons 6-1 over the rest of the half to take a 6-3 lead into the break. Auggie Aliaga and Walker scored first-quarter goals to tie the score 2-2, and Weigle and Noah Weldon scored two straight in the second to make it 4-2. After the Falcons cut it to 4-3, Crisitan Pang and Weigle scored 11 seconds apart to make it 6-3 CMS heading into the half. 

Pang and Gavin Rosser scored in the third to give CMS its largest lead at 8-4, before Air Force scored three goals in a row. Walker got his second in transition after a Kyle Ballack steal to stem the momentum and make it 9-7, and Weigle earned a hat trick to push it to 10-7, before his fourth broke the 10-10 tie. 

Aidan Nettekoven had a big first half for CMS with eight saves, allowing three goals.  

Weigle, Walker and Ballack each two goals in the opening game against Westcliff, but the Warriors were able to come away with the 12-9 win. CMS held only one lead for 14 seconds, when Pang made it 8-7 Stags in the third, but Westcliff held CMS to just one goal the rest of the way. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend for two neutral site games at Whittier, facing Stanford and Brown. The Stags have already played UCLA and USC this season, including a 21-12 defeat to USC yesterday, and will add Stanford to its list of top-five opponents.