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Jeffrey Koretz scores one of his two early goals (photo by Stella Cheng)
Jeffrey Koretz scores one of his two early goals (photo by Stella Cheng)

Huge First-Half Run Carries Stags Water Polo Past Cal Lutheran

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The top-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team scored 11 goals in a row to close out the first half and take an 11-1 lead into the break and went on to capture a 16-9 win over fourth-ranked Cal Lutheran on Wednesday evening at Axelrood Pool.

The win improves the Stags' record to 18-6 overall and 9-0 in the SCIAC with three regular season games remaining. The final game is at second-place Redlands (9-1) next Saturday, which could be a winner-take-all battle for the top seed in the SCIAC Tournament. 

Nick Kennedy led CMS with three goals, while Auggie Aliaga had two goals and two assists for a team-high four points. Len Korol and Jeffrey Koretz each had two-goal games for the Stags as well, while Aidan Nettekoven played the first half in goal and had three saves while allowing one goal. 

Cal Lutheran scored on its first possession of the game, but did not score again until the third quarter, as the Stag offense clicked on all cylinders. Cristian Pang tied it 1-1 at the 3:46 mark of the first quarter, and Koretz scored on two straight possessions to give CMS the lead for good. 

Korol closed out the first quarter with a goal, and Jack Bryant started the second quarter with another to make it 5-1. Kennedy then scored three in a row to push it to 8-1, and Korol, Gavin Netherton and Aliaga closed out the half with tallies to make it 11-1 at the break. 

The Kingsmen regrouped at the half and started the third quarter with three goals in a row, but it was too big a hill to climb as the Stags cruised to the win. 

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