RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The first day of the Lancers Invitational ended in partial success for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team nearly upsetted Division II Cal Baptist University in a 8-7 loss before defeating Occidental College handily 13-6.
Cal Baptist def. CMS 8-7
An upset almost came about at the Lancer Invite as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team came close to defeating Division II Cal Baptist University. With the game tied at seven apiece in the final minutes of the match, Cal Baptist managed to squeeze out the game-winner with 2:39 left in the period thanks to a goal from Joseph Galgani and held on for the win.
The Stags fought valiantly, holding the Lancers scoreless on powerplay opportunities and staying within striking distance throughout the match. Noah Deer (CMC) led CMS with three goals while Zack Rossman (CMC) had two goals and an assist. Barron Banta (CMC) also scored two goals while Ethan Lewis (CMC) held it down at goal, recording 14 saves and four steals.
Deer opened up the scoring with 5:25 remaining in the first period, thanks to a feed from Rossman. The Lancers quickly responded less than a minute later as Caleb Rogers scored off a pass from Tanner Shore. Rossman took back the lead 20 seconds after Rogers' goal as the Stags finished the first period with a 2-1 lead.
The Lancers finally found their momentum in the second period, going on a 3-0 run to lead 4-2. Rossman managed to stop the rally after scoring on a penalty attempt to bring the Stags within one. With 1:05 left in the half, Banta scored the equalizer off a pass from CJ Box (CMC). However, with 22 seconds left, Thomas Henline gave Cal Baptist the lead as a pass from Kyle Christian.
Henline opened up with a goal less than a minute into the third period off a pass from Christian to extend the lead 6-4. The two teams held each other scoreless for the next six minutes until Deer drilled the buzzer-beater to bring the Stags within one.
Deer tied the game with 5:36 left in the final period, but Galgani took the lead back just 20 seconds later. Banta once again came through with a game-tying goal with 4:55 left before Galgani scored again two minutes later. The Stags desperately looked to come back, but came up empty as the Lancers finished the game with an 8-7 victory.
CMS def. Occidental 13-6
Noah Deer picked up where he left off, leading the Stags with four goals while Eric Weiner (HMC) added two goals and a steal. Matt Daruty had a solid night distributing the ball, collecting two assists. The Stags once again played solid defense, denying the Tigers from scoring on their powerplay opportunities. Evan Pauletich (CMC) started in goal, pulling off eight saves and three steals.
The Stags set the tone in the first period, going on a 4-0 run as Deer scored two goals while Nick Britt (CMC) converted a penalty attempt. The Tigers got on board with 2:42 left in the first period as Peter Blumberg scored off an assist from Nicolas Lipari.
The second period played out similarly as the first, with Deer sparking a 3-0 run as the Stags took a 7-1 lead. Lipari stopped the bleeding, scoring with 2:28 left in the half, but Robert Driscoll (CMC) scored a minute later to extend the lead 8-2.
CMS had a fairly quieter start to the second half, scoring only two goals, including an assisted shot by Ethan Lewis off a pass from CJ Box (CMC) with 45 seconds left. The Stags led 10-3 after the third.
The two teams scored back and forth in the final period, as the Stags denied the Tigers from going on an extended rally as they held on for a 13-6 victory.
The Stags will play Occidental again tomorrow in a SCIAC match at home in Axelrood Pool at 11:00 a.m.