Jeffrey Koretz had four goals in a near-upset of No. 10 Pacific
Jeffrey Koretz had four goals in a near-upset of No. 10 Pacific

CMS Men's Water Polo Defeats Wagner, Takes No. 10 Pacific to the Wire

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team defeated Wagner 11-9 and took No. 10 Pacific down to the wire before falling 13-12 as it split two matches against Division I teams on the first day of the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament on Friday at Axelrood Pool.

With the split, CMS, which is ranked No. 1 in Division III, now stands at 9-5 on the season, with all five losses coming to Division I teams ranked in the top 12 nationally. 

The Stags had a chance to force the Pacific game into overtime, after Kyle Ballack scored on a penalty shot with 30 seconds left to cut the score to 13-12. The Tigers didn't quite kill the clock, leaving the Stags two seconds to work with. Nick Kennedy triggered the restart and sent a long pass into the middle hoping for a teammate to finish a one-timer, but the ball sailed wide and Pacific was able to hold on. 

CMS trailed 7-3 in the second quarter, but came back to take a 9-8 lead on a goal from Gavin Rosser with 1:37 left in the third, after Jake Taylor saved two penalty shots for the Stags during the third after coming on in relief at halftime. Pacific answered back to tie the score at 9-9 heading into the fourth, and Cooper Ganderson scored twice in a row to put the Tigers up 11-9. Jeffrey Koretz scored his fourth for CMS to make it 11-10, but Gil Gvishi scored twice for Pacific to stretch it to 13-10. 

Luke (Bear) Weigle scored in front to make it 13-11 with 1:12 to go, and Ballacjk's goal closed out the scoring on the next possession. 

Ballack finished with three goals to finish second behind Koretz's four, while Rosser had two goals and two assists. Taylor had six saves in the second half, including the two on penalty shots. 

In the nightcap, CMS fell behind 4-1 early against Wagner and trailed 6-4 at the half, but rallied after halftime for an 11-9 win. Jack Bryant broke an 8-8 tie with a goal with 6:14 to go, and Ballack scored a big one at the 4:16 mark to give CMS some insurance. Len Korol stretched the lead to 11-8 with 2:22 left, and the Seahawks were only able to get one goal down the stretch to make it an 11-9 final. 

Korol had three goals to lead the Stags, while Nick Kennedy had two goals and five assists. Taylor had seven first-half saves for CMS. 

The Stags will be back in action tomorrow for the second day of the Gary Troyer Tournament, facing Westcliff at 10:20 a.m. and No. 4 Pepperdine at 3:40 p.m.