Luke (Bear) Weigle had five goals on the day (photo by Stella Cheng)

CMS Men's Water Polo Splits in Strong Showing on First Day of Inland Empire Classic

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team battled No. 8 Long Beach State to a tight match before falling 11-6, and then dominated Concordia (Irvine) with a 20-11 win in the nightcap on the first day of the Inland Empire Classic at Axelrood Pool on Saturday afternoon. 

With the split, CMS moves to 3-2 on the year with both losses coming to top-10 Division I teams, after falling to No. 4 UC Davis last weekend. The Stags also led Concordia by as many as 13 goals (20-7), before the Golden Eagles went on to defeat Pomona-Pitzer in its later contest.

Hassen Hove had four goals in the Concordia win, while Luke (Bear) Weigle and Jeffrey Koretz each had hat tricks and Cristian Pang and Gavin Rosser scored twice. Weigle had two goals in the Long Beach State contest, giving him a team-high five goals on the day. 

CMS led Concordia 3-0 after the first quarter and stretched its lead up to 5-0 before the Golden Eagles found the net. Nick Kennedy opened the scoring, and Rosser and Koretz followed with first-quarter goals, before Hove and Auggie Aliaga pushed the lead to 5-0. 

After Concordia scored two straight goals, Weigle had back-to-back tallies, and Hove closed out the half with back-to-back goals to maie it an 11-2 CMS lead. 

In the second half, Ivey Gehring, Stryker Scales, Len Korol and Gavin Netherton joined the goal-scoring brigade for the Stags. Aidan Nettekoven finished with seven saves for CMS. 

In the opening contest, Weigle, Korol and Aliaga each scored in the first quarter as CMS pulled even with Long Beach State 3-3. The score remained deadlocked for most of the second quarter, but Long Beach State scored three times in the final 2:06 to take a 6-3 lead into the break. 

After falling behind 9-4, the Stags had two straight goals from Pang and Weigle to get back within 9-6, and had a couple chances to close to within two goals in the fourth quarter, but Long Beach State was able to hold off the comeback effort and score the final two goals to make it an 11-6 final.

CMS will be back in action tomorrow when it faces No. 6 UC Santa Barbara at 8 a.m., and then battles No. 12 UC San Diego at 1 p.m.