CMS Defeats Leopards behind Gaffney's Four Goals

Jessica Gaffney (CMC) scored four goals in the win. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)
Jessica Gaffney (CMC) scored four goals in the win. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)

LA VERNE, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team earned their eighth conference win of the season on Saturday after edging La Verne 11-7. The Athenas scored three goals in each of the final three quarters and were led by a strong four-goal performance from Jessica Gaffney (CMC). Aracelia Aldrete (CMC), Roxy Kiessling (CMC), and Amelia Ayala (CMC) each scored twice.

The Leopards drew first blood with a goal 20 seconds into the opening period, but the Athenas scored just over a minute later with Gaffney's first goal of the game, assisted by Aldrete. CMS took the lead with 2:47 to play in the quarter when Claire Baxter (CMC) found Aldrete who put the ball in the back of the net to give CMS a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

Gaffney opened the second quarter with a goal at the 5:52 mark to put the Athenas up by two. The Leopards answered 40 seconds later to come within one before Christine Hu (CMC) pushed the lead back to two with a goal halfway through the period. With under a minute to play, La Verne struck for a goal to cut the CMS lead to 4-3, and Ayala retaliated with nine seconds to play in the half to send the Athenas into halftime with a 5-3 lead.

CMS continued to strike often as Gaffney opened the third period with back-to-back goals within the first two minutes, giving CMS a 7-3 lead. Kiessling kept the momentum going with a goal on a penalty shot with four minutes to play in the quarter. La Verne attempted to chip away with a power play goal in the last minute of the quarter but CMS held a comfortable 8-4 lead heading into the final period.

Quiet for the first half of the fourth frame, CMS struck for three quick goals in the final four minutes of play. Ayala found the net first with a goal at the 3:52 mark to give CMS a 9-4 advantage. Kiessling responded to a Leopard goal with her second of the game to give the Athenas a five-goal advantage with 3:14 to play. Aldrete added one more before the game closed out with CMS in front 11-7.

With the win, CMS improves to 15-9 overall and 8-3 in SCIAC play. They are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Occidental College for a 4 p.m. game.