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Mia Adsen scored twice, including a third-quarter buzzer-beater (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Mia Adsen scored twice, including a third-quarter buzzer-beater (photo by Caelyn Smith)

CMS Women's Water Polo Falls to Pomona-Pitzer in SCIAC Finals, Looks Ahead to DIII Nationals

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team ended up on the short end of a defensive battle with Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC Championship on Sunday, as the Sagehens prevailed with a 9-5 win at Haldeman Pool.

The two teams will both advance to the USA Water Polo Division III Championships next week at Augustana College in Illinois, where they could meet again on Sunday if both teams win their semifinals. CMS earned its invitation with its semifinal win over Cal Lutheran on Friday night. 

CMS was within 4-3 at the half as it tried to earn the league title, but Pomona-Pitzer was able to score the first three goals after halftime to open up a 7-3 lead. Mia Adsen helped turn the momentum with a buzzer-beater to close out the third quarter, her second goal of the game, and Dara Schoolcraft scored on a rebound early in the fourth to cut it to 7-5 with 7:08 to play.

The Sagehens answered right back with a goal on their next possession, though, and restored a four-goal lead with four minutes to play. From there the defense held tough, led by Zosia Amberger, who finished with 12 saves. 

Mason Spencer started and had six first-half saves for CMS, while Natalie Stearns came up with eight saves in the second half, helping to keep the Athenas in striking distance. Grace Clark and Caitlin Muñoz added first half goals for CMS. 

The Athenas will find out their opponent on Monday for the USA Water Polo Championships, which will also feature Augustana and Austin College. The semifinals will take place on Saturday, with the consolation and championship on Sunday.