Men's Water Polo Comes Up Short in SCIAC Finals to Top-Seeded Pomona-Pitzer

Men's Water Polo Comes Up Short in SCIAC Finals to Top-Seeded Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team had four different goal scorers in the first half, but was unable to find the net in the second as top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer led throughout and captured an 11-4 win over the Stags in the SCIAC Championship match on Sunday morning at Haldeman Pool.

The loss ends the season for CMS at 16-11, although the Stags will return almost their entire team next year, losing only senior Matt Daruty off a team that finished tied for second in the SCIAC and lost to top-10 Pepperdine by only one goal at home (14-13). Pomona-Pitzer takes its third straight SCIAC title and will advance to the NCAA Play-In Round against an opponent to be determined. 

The Sagehens scored on their first two possessions for a quick 2-0 lead and never trailed. Junior Zack Rossman scored the first goal for the Stags when he converted off a crossing pass from junior Ethan Lewis to make the score 2-1, but Pomona-Pitzer scored the next two goals to take a 4-1 lead at the end of the first. 

CMS carried over a 6-on-5 opportunity into the second quarter, and freshman William Clark found the net just after the man advantage expired to close the deficit to 4-2, but Pomona-Pitzer went on its third 2-0 run on the half to take a 6-2 lead. Lewis trimmed the lead to 6-3 before the Sagehens answered on their next possession. A goal from sophomore Robert Driscoll brought the Stags within 7-4, but Pomona-Pitzer scored with just five seconds left in the half to take an 8-4 lead into the break. 

From there, the game turned into a defensive battle, which played into Pomona-Pitzer's hands as the Sagehens outscored CMS 3-0 in the second half to secure the win. Pomona-Pitzer goalie James Kelbert had 12 saves, and backup Kellan Grant added a 13th in the final minute as CMS was unable to cut into the deficit in the second half. 

Rossman and Lewis each had a goal and an assist in the losing cause, while Tournament Most Outstanding Player Adam Ward led all players with three goals for Pomona-Pitzer.