Stags battle Fresno Pacific and Cal Baptist

Noah Deer (Photo by Seth Sanchez)
Noah Deer (Photo by Seth Sanchez)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – In the 2016 Lancer Invite hosted by California Baptist University, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team played two intense games with split results. The Stags bested Fresno Pacific 13-0 in overtime and then battled with Cal Baptist in the nightcap, losing 11-8. CMS additionally faced UCLA over the weekend, and dropped the game 17-4.

Game vs. Fresno Pacific – Box Score 

The last time these two teams had squared off was in the Lancer Invite in 2015, with CMS coming out on top 18-2. This year's match proved to be a quite different story. The teams matched goals in the first quarter 3-3 as senior Alex Waggoner (CMC) had bookend goals in the period.

The second period showcased the defense as CMS only allowed one goal. Senior goalie Rye Newman (CMC) ended up with eight saves in the game and grabbed three steals as well. Junior Noah Deer (CMC) scored his first goal of the night with 5:16 on the clock to put the Stags on a 3-1 run.

Fresno Pacific came roaring back in the third as the Sunbirds scored twice in 6-on-5 opportunities to come within one goal of CMS at 9-8. The final period was predominantly defensive as only three goals were scored. Deer netted his third of the game at the 4-minute mark to put CMS up by two goals. Then, in quick succession, the Firebirds snuck in two goals on back-to-back possessions to tie up the game.

In overtime, Newman locked up the defense and did not allow a goal. All three of CMS' goals came in the second OT period. Deer led all players with four goals in the match while senior Ellison Taylor (CMC) and freshman Harrison Miller (CMC) came up with their only scores of the game for insurance goals in the final two minutes.

Game vs. Cal Baptist – Box Score

After a schedule delay, the game that would have started at 7:30 p.m. was pushed back to 8:45 p.m. Coming off a thrilling OT win and then a one game break, the Stags were back in the water to face Cal Baptist, who bested them 18-9 just the weekend before.

CMS started right where they left off against FPU as Deer put in his fifth and sixth goals of the day in the first quarter. CMS held the Lancers scoreless in the second quarter as Waggoner and junior Graham Fullerton (CMC) tossed in a pair to take the 4-2 lead at halftime.

The Lancers out-scored CMS 9-to-4 in the second half taking the game barely out of reach at the end, despite Deer's duo of unassisted scores in the last minute and a half.

The Stags were successful on just three of 12 power play opportunities in the eventual 11-8 loss. Cal Baptist is ranked No. 16 by the Collegiate Water Polo Association.

On the day, head coach Greg Lonzo was proud to see a number of his underclassmen step up and play productive minutes in the pool for the Stags.

Game vs. UCLA – Box Score

Following a strenuous day at the Lancer Invite, CMS traveled to play the No. 1 ranked team in the country, UCLA. The powerful Bruins out-matched the Stags and took an early 6-1 lead in the first quarter. Scoring for CMS in the game was junior Arya Nakhjavani (CMC), sophomore Matt Daruty (CMC) and Fullerton.

This weekend, CMS is a co-host of the annual Gary Troyer Tournament. The tournament features 20 programs from across the country and played in CMS' Axelrood Pool and Pomona-Pitzer's Haldeman Pool. The Stags will face UC San Diego, Concordia, Iona, and Connecticut College on Oct. 7 and 8.

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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