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Aidan Nettekoven had 17 saves (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Aidan Nettekoven had 17 saves (photo by Caelyn Smith)

CMS Men's Water Polo Hangs On to Defeat La Verne 11-9

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Aidan Nettekoven had 17 saves to help the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team build a 10-3 lead, and the Stags held off a late La Verne rally to capture an 11-9 win on Wednesday evening in a SCIAC matchup at Axelrood Pool.

With the win, CMS moves to 7-10 on the season and 2-1 in the SCIAC, while La Verne slips to 0-3 in league play after two-goal losses to both Pomona-Pitzer and CMS. 

The Stags used an 8-0 run to turn a 2-1 deficit with 5:08 left in the first quarter into a 9-2 lead early in the third. Peter Trinh finally broke the drought for the Leopards with 4:56 left in the third, as Nettekoven held La Verne scoreless for over 16 minutes of play, tallying 12 of his saves in the first half alone. 

Offensively, Kyle Ballack had a hat trick, giving CMS the lead for good at 3-2 and capping off the run with his third goal of the game to make it 9-2. Harry Rinker answered the Trinh goal to make it 10-3 Stags, and Alam Chang made it 10-4 heading into the fourth. 

La Verne outscored CMS 5-1 in the fourth to make a game of it, with Gavin Rosser breaking the La Verne run with a goal with 3:32 to go. The Leopards closed to within 11-9 with 2:40 left, but CMS was able to bunker down and close out the win. 

Thomas Walker had two goals for the Stags, Cristian Pang had three assists, and Rinker and Rosser each had a goal and an assist. Luke (Bear) Weigle led the Stags with three steals. 

CMS will be back in action this Saturday when it travels to Whittier for an 11 a.m. contest.