CMS battles for overtime win against Pomona-Pitzer

Tanner Cullen
Tanner Cullen

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team won Saturday night's game against Sixth Street rival, Pomona-Pitzer 16-15 in overtime. The Stags came out on top of the back and forth battle vs. the Sagehens. Each team brought their fans to make for a rowdy crowd at Axelrood Pool.

The score was tied at three after the first quarter with two goals by senior John Holland for the Stags.

Holland continued on his streak and scored within the first minute of the second quarter for CMS to take the lead 4-3.  Sophomore Adam Hilborn boosted the Stags' lead with an excellent backhand goal.  Pomona-Pitzer's James Baker scored three goals during the second quarter but CMS scored five and ended the first half leading 8-6. During the quarter, junior James Kelly had two big saves including one on a penalty shot by the Hens.

Despite sophomore Tanner Cullen scoring two more goals and another by senior Maarten Lefor in the third quarter, Pomona-Pitzer closed the gap that CMS had created and tied the game at 10 points.  With another goal by Cullen, CMS led 11-10 at the end of the quarter. 

At the end of a very physical fourth quarter, freshman Eric Bakar scored for the Stags with a minute remaining to tie the game at 13 points apiece. Kelly had a block in the last minute of regulation time to force the game into overtime.

A goal by sophomore Daniel Cogan was quickly answered by a Pomona-Pitzer goal to keep the score tied.  The first overtime ended with a 14-14 tie.

CMS scored twice early into the second overtime period with a lob by Alec Linz and a goal by Cullen to put the Stags up 16-14. Pomona-Pitzer countered with one of their own but their rebuttal was not enough to catch up to the Stags.  CMS won the rivalry game 16-15.

Cullen had a team-high seven goals and Kelly recorded five blocks on the night.

The Stags improved to 14-9 on the season, 6-1 in SCIAC, and will host Chapman this coming Saturday (11/16) at 10 am for their final game in SCIAC regular season play.  The SCIAC championships will be held on Nov. 22-24.

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