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Dara Schoolcraft had three goals in the pivotal third quarter (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Dara Schoolcraft had three goals in the pivotal third quarter (photo by Caelyn Smith)

CMS Women's Water Polo Pulls Away from Occidental in Second Half for Eighth Straight SCIAC Win

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After holding a narrow 2-1 lead at halftime, the second-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team got its offensive clicking in the second half and pulled away for a 13-5 win over Occidental on Wednesday evening at the De Mandel Aquatics Center.

The win was the eighth in a row for the Athenas in SCIAC competition and improves their league record to 10-1, its best record through 11 games in program history. It also sets up a battle with first-place Pomona-Pitzer next Wednesday with a chance to pull even with the Sagehens.

Reigning SCIAC Offensive Player of the Week Cooper McKenna finished with four goals for the Athenas, while Isabel Dhillon and Dara Schoolcraft each had three, with Schoolcraft netting all three of hers in a span of less than three minutes in the third quarter. 

CMS took a 2-0 lead after the first quarter after the first goals from McKenna and Dhillon, but did not score in the second as the Tigers pulled within 2-1 at the break. After the intermission, though, the Athenas were able to put their offense into overdrive with 11 goals in 16 minutes. CMS scored six goals in the third, including the three from Schoolcraft, as they went ahead 8-3 heading into the fourth.

McKenna started the second-half run with her second goal of the game at the 6:53 mark, before Schoolcraft scored twice 43 seconds apart to make it a 5-1 game with 4:35 left in the third. Cassandra Ruedy made it a 4-0 CMS run with her first goal of the game at the 4:01 mark before Occidental scored its first second-half goal on a 6-on-5. Schoolcraft, though, completed her hat trick, all in a span of 2:37, with a power play goal to make it a 7-2 score. Emily McElroy added a third-quarter tally to push the lead to 8-2 before the Tigers scored the final goal of the frame.

Elise Power scored her first goal to open the fourth quarter and push the CMS lead to 9-3, before McKenna and Dillon alternated two goals apiece in the final frame to finish with four goals and three goals, respectively. 

CMS will be idle this weekend before hosting Pomona-Pitzer at Axelrood Pool on Wednesday, April 13. The Sagehens won the first meeting 11-8 on March 12, which remains the only loss that the Athenas have suffered in league play this season.