Back on the Winning Track: CMS Men's Water Polo Holds On to Defeat Redlands 12-10

Back on the Winning Track: CMS Men's Water Polo Holds On to Defeat Redlands 12-10

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team bounced back from its first SCIAC loss of the year to take a 12-10 home win over Redlands on Wednesday evening at Axelrood Pool.

The Stags led 12-7 in the fourth before withstanding a late Redlands run, as they improve to 13-6 overall and 8-1 in SCIAC play after falling at Chapman on Saturday. Redlands slips to 12-13 overall and 6-4 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

Sophomore utility Christian Thornton scored four goals to lead the Stags offensively, while sophomore Robert Driscoll (pictured) had two goals and a team-high three steals, and freshman Samuel Harrison also added two goals. 

CMS took control of the game in the second half, after taking a narrow 7-6 lead into the break. Thornton started off the third quarter with a goal to give the Stags an 8-6 lead, and Harrison followed with 2:27 left in the third to make it a 9-6 game. 

Redlands answered back 19 seconds later to close within 9-7 heading into the fourth, but the Stags then erupted for three goals in the first 2:43 of the final quarter to take command. Sophomore CJ Box started the run with a goal, and Thornton followed with his fourth with 6:32 left to make it an 11-7 lead. Driscoll capped off the run with 5:17 to play to give CMS its largest lead at 12-7. 

Redlands made the final score a little closer with a late push, capped off by a harmless goal with eight seconds left to make the final score 12-10. 

The first half was evenly-played with Redlands pulling ahead 3-2 in the first, before Harrison's goal with 15 seconds left tied it at 3-3. Thornton had back-to-back goals to give the Stags the lead for good at 5-3, and senior Matt Daruty and sophomore Nick Britt scored consecutive goals 53 seconds apart to make it a 7-4 game, before Redlands scored twice in the closing minutes of the half to close within 7-6 at the break. 

Freshman goalie Noah Smith had a strong second half, making seven saves and picking up two steals, while allowing only four goals (three coming late after the Stags led by five). Jason Gates had 12 saves for Redlands. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts Cal Lutheran for an 11 a.m. contest at Axelrood Pool.