Stags take tough losses at UCLA Invitational

Peter Tilton
Peter Tilton

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team opened their season against a pair of Division I powerhouses, No. 2 USC and No. 4 UCLA, on Saturday afternoon at the UCLA Invitational. The Stags opened up their day with a 27-3 loss to the Trojans followed by a 19-2 loss against the Bruins. Freshmen CJ Box (CMC) and Robert Driscoll (CMC) scored in their Stags debut as five different Stags notched a goal at the invitiational. 

No. 2 USC def. CMS 27-3

The Trojans' offense controlled the opening half, scoring wherever they wanted at will. However, Charlie Thomson (CMC) notched the first CMS goal of the 2017 season in the start of the third period to cut the deficit 17-1. Later in the fourth quarter, the Stags capitalized on a Trojan exclusion, setting CJ Box up for a powerplay goal to make it 23-2. In the final second of the match, Driscoll earned a penalty and converted his shot as the Stags fell 27-3. Evan Pauletich (CMC) finished the game with five saves in his season debut. 

No. 4 UCLA def. CMS 19-2

The second match of the afternoon brought similar results for the Stags as UCLA delivered a lopsided victory. Pauletich did his best effort as the last line of the Stags' defense, going for seven saves. 

The Stags managed to score in the first period against the Bruins as sophomore Zack Rossman (CMC) took advantage of a powerplay and converted his first goal of the season. However, the Bruins went on a tremendous 8-0 run that extended into the second period. Senior Peter Tilton (CMC) managed to get on the scoresheet on a powerplay with 5:35 left in the second period, but that was all the offense the Stags would muster as the Bruins scored six more goals to end the half. 

CMS demonstrated strong defensive play in the second half as the Stags held UCLA to four goals in the second half, but the game ended in favor of UCLA 19-2. 

The Stags will play again on Saturday, September 9 when they face Whittier College at 10:20 a.m. and Cal Baptist University at 3 p.m. at the Inland Empire Classic hosted by La Verne.