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Thomas Walker had three goals and two assists (photo by Stella Cheng)
Thomas Walker had three goals and two assists (photo by Stella Cheng)

CMS Men's Water Polo Suffers One-Goal Loss to Redlands in SCIAC Opening Round

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Thomas Walker had three goals and two assists and Aidan Nettekoven had nine saves, but the Redlands men's water polo team took advantage of three penalty shots to earn a 7-6 win over CMS in the opening round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Wednesday evening at Axelrood Pool.

The loss ends the CMS season at 12-15, while Redlands moves on to face top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals on Friday night. 

The score was tied 4-4 at the half, before the Bulldogs scored the first three goals of the third quarter, the final one a penalty shot from Andrew Higginson to make it a 7-4 game with 2:28 to go in the third. Ben Weldon answered off a Walker feed with 1:45 left in the third, but then neither team would score again until Walker fired one home with six seconds left.

Redlands put the ball in the hands of goalie Liam Murphy on the restart, and CMS was unable to reach him as the final seconds ticked off. 

CMS led by a goal three times in the opening minutes, with Gavin Rosser scoring on the first Stag possession. Eli Schwarz then gave the Stags a 2-1 lead, and Walker put CMS up 3-2 on the first possession of the second quarter. Redlands scored the next two goals, but Walker tied it up before the half, before the Bulldogs were able to use a key 3-0 run to start the third and hold on the rest of the way. 

CMS will lose four graduating seniors in Kyle Ballack, Nick Maramica, Ben Weldon and Noah Weldon, but its four top scorers, Luke (Bear) Weigle, Walker, Cristian Pang and Rosser all return, as does Nettekoven (and fellow goalie Jake Taylor) as the Stags will look to get back to the USA Water Polo Division III Tournament next season.