CMS Men's Water Polo Holds Off Concordia to Earn Opening Day Split at Inland Empire Classic

CMS Men's Water Polo Holds Off Concordia to Earn Opening Day Split at Inland Empire Classic

REDLANDS, Calif. - Freshman William Clark had two goals and two assists in his collegiate debut, and junior Zack Rossman and sophomore Koss Klobucher each added two goals, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team held off a late Concordia (Irvine) rally to capture an 11-10 win its first match of the season on Saturday morning at the Inland Empire Classic at the University of Redlands.

The Stags also fell to USC, the Co-No. 1 in the current national poll, in their second match of the day 17-2 to start the year off with a 1-1 record. 

CMS led 11-7 heading into the fourth quarter, and had to hold off a late Eagles rally to come away with the win. Concordia scored with 3:16 left to pull within a goal, and the Stags nearly clinched it, but a shot by Andrew Wraith hit the post. After a timeout, the Eagles had one last chance to tie, but Clark came up with a big block to seal the win for CMS. 

Concordia started off the game with a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, but Rossman and Clark quickly answered with goals to knot the score up 2-2 with 3:58 left in the first. After the Eagles went ahead on a power play, junior Ethan Lewis scored with four seconds left in the half to tie the score back up 3-3. 

The Stags continued the momentum into the second quarter, taking their first lead on their first possession on a goal from Klobucher. After a Lewis steal, Wraith found the net on a Clark feed to make the score 5-3 with 6:45 left in the half. The Eagles tied it back up again 6-6, but Rossman scored with 1:52 left to give the Stags a 7-6 lead going into the half. 

The third quarter proved to be the pivotal one for CMS, as it outscored CUI by a 4-1 spread to take an 11-7 lead, and it would need that cushion to hold off the Eagles in the fourth. Sophomore CJ Box scored with 4:43 left to push the lead to 8-6, and Clark scored on a power play with 3:10 left to give the Stags a 9-6 advantage.

After a CUI goal with 59 seconds left in the third, CMS struck for two quick ones to close out the frame, with Klobucher scoring with 35 seconds left. Wraith then had a steal and junior Christian Thornton found the net off a Clark feed to make it an 11-7 advantage with just nine seconds left in the third with a goal that would prove to account for the final 11-10 spread. 

In the USC match, the top-ranked Trojans (who currently share the No. 1 spot with UCLA), took a 17-2 win, with Rossman and freshman Sam Harrison scoring goals for the Stags.

CMS will next be in action when it hosts Chapman in its SCIAC opener on Wednesday, Sept. 19 for a 7 p.m. match.