CLAREMONT, Calif. - For the second time in six days, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team won on a goal with three seconds left in its home pool as Ethan Lewis beat the buzzer to give the Stags a 6-5 win over Navy in their first match of the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament at Axelrood Pool on Friday afternoon.
CMS, which also defeated Whittier on Saturday 11-10 on a goal with three seconds left (from William Clark), added a 14-4 win over Penn State-Behrend in its nightcap to improve to 9-1 on the season, including eight straight wins since falling to No. 1 USC on Sept. 8.
Navy pulled even on a goal from Nate Reiff, his fourth of the game, with 1:16 left on the clock to knot the score 5-5. After Clark had a shot saved, Navy drew an exclusion with 50 seconds left with a chance to take the lead, but the Stags were able to kill it off and earn possession. After calling a timeout with 18 seconds left, Clark was able to draw an exclusion off the ball with six seconds on the clock, and the Stags threw the ball to Robert Driscoll on the right side of the pool. Driscoll then skipped a pass to the weak side, and Lewis was able to catch it and finish in one motion to give CMS the dramatic win.
MWP: Stags win! Stags win! Ethan Lewis with the game-winner with just 3 seconds left off a skip pass from Will Clark to beat Navy 6-5. CMS with its second game-winner with 3 seconds left in the last week. Wow! pic.twitter.com/EwDpK4NU6y— CMS Athletics (@AthleticsCMS) October 5, 2018
"It was a great pass from Rob, so I lucked out there," said Lewis of the game-winner. "A lot of times in practice we are so focused on catching and shooting quickly that you forget to catch the ball before you actually shoot it, so I made sure I had a good base and was able to put it away."
A low-scoring first half saw the Stags take a 3-1 lead into the break. Sophomore Nick Britt tied the score at 1-1 on a 6-on-5 goal with 1:23 left in the first quarter, and sophomore Barron Banta gave CMS its first lead on a goal on its first possession of the second quarter. Britt then scored his second of the game with 21 seconds left in the half to give the Stags a 3-1 lead heading into the break, behind the strong play of freshman goalie Matt Tran, who had seven saves in the opening half.
Navy cut the deficit in half on a Cole Jacobs goal with 4:14 left in the third, but sophomore Koss Klobucher answered back with 1:32 left in the third to put the Stags ahead 4-2. Reiff, though, came right back 29 seconds later to pull the Midshipmen within 4-3, and then tallied his third with 15 seconds left in the frame to tie it up 4-4 heading into the fourth. Clark gave CMS back the lead with 4:58 go, before Reiff answered yet again.
CMS made sure there was no drama in the second game of the day, taking a 6-1 lead on Penn State Behrend after the first quarter and coasting to a 14-4 win. Freshman Samuel Harrison came off the bench to help swing the momentum in the first quarter, finishing with a hat trick, while Clark and sophomore CJ Box added hat tricks as well for the Stags. Senior Matt Daruty, Driscoll, Britt, Banta and freshman Eric Warmoth each added goals as well, while Tran had five saves in the first half and allowed only one goal, giving him 12 saves and two goals allowed on the day.
The Stags will be back in action on the second day of the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament tomorrow for two matches, taking on Johns Hopkins at 11:40 a.m. and then concluding the tournament against Pepperdine at 6:20 p.m.