Slow start not enough to stop CMS in SCIAC-opening win over La Verne

Charles McGregor
Charles McGregor

(Watch Huston Middlesworth postmatch intervew here.

CLAREMONT, Calif. – For the first 12 minutes of the match, La Verne stayed within striking distance, but the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team eventually broke the game open en route to an 18-8 win in the SCIAC-opener on Saturday at Axelrood Pool. The win marked the seventh in a row for the Stags and pushed the team's record over .500 for the first time this season. CMS is now 9-8 overall and 1-0 in SCIAC play.

A pair of goals by sophomore attacker Tanner Cullen in the first quarter helped get the Stags out to a 3-0 lead. Cullen and senior attacker John Holland tied for a match-high with five scores each on the afternoon. CMS pushed its lead to 5-1 at the 6:39 mark of the second quarter only to see La Verne get back-to-back goals and get within 5-3 on goals by Bryan Jimenez and Tyler Hunt over the next two minutes.

The final four-plus minutes of the second quarter is where CMS began to distance itself as the team went on a 4-0 run to close out the first half with a 9-3 lead. Holland had two of the team's four scores during the decisive run. The other goals were by Cullen and junior attacker Charles McGregor who scored his goal with 12 seconds left before the half.

La Verne scored the first two goals of the second half to get within four scores at 9-5 at the 5:35 mark of the third quarter. CMS then closed out the match by outscoring La Verne 9-3 to get the win.

Next up for CMS are road matches against Caltech (Oct. 23) and Cal Lutheran (Oct. 26).

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