LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The sixth seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team faced third seeded University of Southern California in a play-in game in the 2015 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships. The Stags came up short against the Trojans losing 20-5, the same score as when the two teams squared off earlier in the season. CMS finishes their season at 21-8 after winning the program's 26th Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title.
Head coach Greg Lonzo was proud of the way his team played, especially in the first and fourth quarters. Despite USC taking a 4-0 lead in the first period with goals by four different Trojans, the Stags played solid defense and junior goalie Rye Newman (CMC) notched two saves plus a steal.
CMS dominated the fourth quarter, out-scoring USC 3-2. Senior Adam Hilborn (CMC) was assisted by classmate Tanner Cullen (CMC) on back-to-back goals. Hilborn snuck the first goal past the keeper in the left side of the cage and then his second came on a 6-on-5 power play off a one-time shot off Cullen's pass.
Shortly thereafter, junior Ellison Taylor (CMC) tallied the Stags' fifth goal on the night. Taylor's shot came from the middle, finding the inside of the right post. Both Hilborn and Taylor had multi-goal nights. As the time wound down, Newman made a big stop on a one-on-one with USC's James Walters. With that save, Newman finished up with eight on the night and held USC to the same number of goals as when CMS faced them on Sep. 13.
The Stags had a difficult time getting close to the cage as the Trojans put on heavy pressure in the second period, ultimately out-scoring CMS 8-0 to go up 12-0 at halftime.
At the beginning of the third quarter in a 6-on-5 opportunity, sophomore Noah Deer (CMC) got a clean shot off but right into USC's keeper Ben Goncharenko's outstretched hands. Another chance came for the Stags halfway through third quarter on a backhand shot by Hilborn, but that was saved as well.
The Stags got on the board in the third quarter with senior Daniel Cogan (CMC) finding the top left corner on his second shot of the night and CMS' first goal. Freshman Peter Seidner (CMC) had the assist. CMS scored their second goal in the quarter with 0:47 on the clock for Taylor's first goal of the game. This time, he was assisted by junior Alex Waggoner (CMC).
This is the first year that CMS has had the opportunity to compete in the NCAA tournament.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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