CMS Men's Water Polo Opens SCIAC Play with 13-11 Win over Chapman

CMS Men's Water Polo Opens SCIAC Play with 13-11 Win over Chapman

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team used a 6-0 run in the second half to take a commanding 13-6 lead and held on down the stretch for a 13-11 win over Chapman in the SCIAC opener for both teams on Wednesday night at Axelrood Pool.

With the win, the Stags improve to 2-1 on the young season, with the only loss to No. 1 USC. Chapman slips to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in league play with the loss. 

First-team All-SCIAC attack Zack Rossman had four goals and one assist, and sophomore attack Robert Driscoll (pictured) added three goals and two assists to lead the way for CMS offensively. Junior Ethan Lewis also had two goals and an assist, while freshman Noah Smith had eight second-half saves to get the win in relief. 

The score was tied 4-4 at the half, but the Stags quickly took the lead for good, with Driscoll scoring 28 seconds into the second half to put CMS ahead 5-4. Rossman then tallied his second goal of the game off a Driscoll feed with 6:16 left in the third quarter to make the score 6-4. 

Sophomore attack Koss Klobucher answered a Chapman goal with 3:25 left in the third to put the Stags ahead 7-5, and after the Panthers closed to within 7-6, Rossman reached the hat trick with 1:49 left in the third, and freshman attack William Clark put another one in with just two seconds on the clock to give CMS a 9-6 lead heading into the final frame. 

The Stags then kept piling it on with four more unanswered goals to build their largest lead at 13-6. Driscoll started off the fourth quarter with a goal and then fed Lewis to make it 11-6 with 6:29 left. Rossman tallied his fourth with 5:20 to go after two Smith saves, and junior Charlie Thomson capped off the run with a goal with exactly five minutes left after another Smith save.  

Chapman stopped the run with a goal from Cameron Genetti, one of his three on the day, with 3:33 to go to make the score 13-7, and the Panthers frantically tried to come back, scoring their fifth unanswered goal with 28 seconds left on Graham Asalone's fourth goal to get within 13-11. However, CMS was able to run out the clock and hang on for the win with no further damage. 

"We did a very good job in the third quarter of managing the game and controlling our possessions," said Head Coach Greg Lonzo. "Our defensive intensity picked up and we were able to create multiple counter attack situations. Zack and Robert had really good games offensively and they were the big sparks in the third, along with Will Clark, who made some really good plays in the second half."

Freshman Andrew Wraith added a goal in the first half for the Stags, and senior Matt Daruty and freshman Sam Harrison each had assists. Matt Tran started in goal for CMS and had three saves over the first 16 minutes before giving way to Smith with the score tied 4-4. 

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