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Jessica Salaz with one of her seven saves in the win over Occidental (photo by Daniel Addison)
Jessica Salaz with one of her seven saves in the win over Occidental (photo by Daniel Addison)

CMS Women's Water Polo Opens SCIAC Play with 12-4 Win over Occidental

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Aracelia Aldrete and sophomore Alex Szymczak each had hat tricks, and sophomore goalie Jessica Salaz had seven saves and two assists as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team began its league schedule with a 12-4 win over Occidental on Wednesday night at Axelrood Pool.

With the win, CMS now stands at 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the SCIAC, while Occidental was opening its 2020 season and starts out 0-1 with the loss. 

Occidental hung close in the early going, before the Athenas scored twice a minute apart late in the first quarter to take a 3-1 lead. First-year Jessi Beyer broke a 1-1 tie with 2:21 remaining, and then Salaz threw a long outlet pass to Aldrete, who scored in transition to make it a 3-1 lead. 

Szymczak scored her first goal with 3:49 left in the half, and junior Amelia Ayala made it five different first-half goal scorers for the Athenas with 41 seconds left to push the lead to 5-1. Abigail Lavold answered for Occidental with 23 seconds left to close the score to 5-2 at the break. 

CMS opened the second half with the first goal as Salaz had another assist, sending Szymczak in behind the defense for her second goal of the night to push the lead to 6-2. Lavold answered with her third for Occidental, but Szymczak completed her hat trick as the 6-on-5 expired. An Aldrete goal then helped CMS take an 8-4 lead after three quarters. 

The Athena defense then clamped down and didn't allow another Occidental goal over the final five minutes. Junior Chandlyr Denaro started the fourth with a goal on the first possession, which was followed by the second goal from first-year Christina Kulick, the third from Aldrete and the second from Beyer as the Athenas closed out with a 12-4 win. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels across the street to take on Pomona-Pitzer for a 7 p.m. contest.