CMS Drops Two on Opening Day to No. 1 USC, Host Cal Baptist

Amelia Ayala had two goals for CMS in a tight battle against host Cal Baptist
Amelia Ayala had two goals for CMS in a tight battle against host Cal Baptist

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team got the 2019 season underway with two matches at the Cal Baptist Mini-Tournament, battling the host Lancers to a 10-6 defeat after falling to No. 1 USC in its first match of the day.

The Athenas were tied with Cal Baptist, ranked No. 24 in the nation, 4-4 at the half before a 5-0 third quarter helped the Lancers take the 10-6 win. Freshman Addi Duvall scored two goals on her opening day of collegiate competition, while sophomore Amelia Ayala also added two. The Athenas fell 23-0 to USC in their opening match of the year, against a Trojans team that won last year's national title and has started out 9-0 this spring. 

CMS was able to shake off the first match against the nation's top team to give the hosts from Cal Baptist all they could handle. After the Lancers opened the scoring, Ayala and Emily McElroy scored back-to-back goals to give CMS a 2-1 lead with 3:24 left in the first quarter, which is where the score stayed heading into the second. 

After the Lancers scored twice to take a 3-2 lead, sophomore Anna Fry found the net to knot the score back up at 3-3. Cal Baptist again took the lead with 3:13 left in the half, but Ayala answered with her second of the day to make it a 4-4 score heading into the break. 

Cal Baptist came out of the intermission clicking on offense and scored on their first three possessions. The Lancers pushed their lead up to 9-4 at the end of the third behind two goals apiece from Krista Krantz (who had three goals) and Kira O'Donnell, and then extended the lead to 10-4 1:02 into the fourth quarter. Duvall closed out the scoring with two goals 42 seconds apart to make the final score 10-6. 

Alejandra Aznar had four goals for top-ranked USC, and Verica Bakoc added three as the Trojans won their ninth straight match to start the new season. Freshman Maddy Menard led CMS with four shot attempts, while freshman Alex Szymczak added three. 

CMS will be back in action when it travels to Redlands for two matches on Saturday, Feb. 16, facing the host Bulldogs in a non-league match at 12 noon and then facing Cal State East Bay at 2:50 p.m.