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ben Weldon had a hat trick in the FPU win (photo by Caelyn Smith)
ben Weldon had a hat trick in the FPU win (photo by Caelyn Smith)

Stags Water Polo Splits on First Day of Gary Troyer Tournament

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team led No. 12 Pepperdine at the half (4-3) in its first game of the day before the Waves came back to win 15-7, but the Stags bounced back to earn a split of the day with a 15-10 win over Fresno Pacific in the nightcap.

Luke (Bear) Weigle had hat tricks in both games for CMS, scoring three of the first-half goals against Pepperdine to stake CMS to a one-goal lead at the break. He added three goals against Fresno Pacific, and was joined in the hat trick club by Thomas Walker and Ben Weldon, while Cristian Pang had two goals and three assists. 

CMS never trailed against Fresno Pacific, jumping out to a 3-0 lead with goals on three straight possessions early, with Weigle sandwiching two around a goal from Auggie Aliaga. The Sunbirds got back within 4-3 at the end of the first, but Pang scored and Weigle finished off his second straight hat trick to make it 6-3.

Again Fresno Pacific battled back to within a single goal, but Walker scored two straight goals to make it 8-5 and give CMS the momentum heading into intermission. After the Sunbirds scored the first goal of the second half, the Stags rattled off a 5-0 run to seal it, with Weldon capping it off with two straight after Aliaga, Pang and Kyle Ballack scored. Gavin Rosser closed out the CMS scoring to make it 15-9 before the Sunbirds had a last-minute tally to make the final score 15-10. 

Weigle opened the scoring against Pepperdine, and after the score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first, Aliaga gave CMS a 2-1 lead with the first goal of the second. The Waves took their first lead with the next two goals, but Weigle scored twice more 1:10 apart to make it a 4-3 game, which was where it stood at the half. 

Pepperdine, though, came out with renewed focus in the second half and rattled off six straight goals, before Walker ended the run with 10 seconds left in the third to make it 9-5. Ballack and Rosser added fourth quarter goals for CMS, but the Waves were able to take it 15-7. 

CMS will be back in action tomorrow for two home games, taking on Johns Hopkins at 11:40 a.m. and Air Force at 5 p.m.