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.