CMS Women's Water Polo Closes Out 2019 Season With 8-5 Loss to Pomona-Pitzer

Alex Szcymczak had two fourth quarter goals in a comeback effort that came up short on Saturday
Alex Szcymczak had two fourth quarter goals in a comeback effort that came up short on Saturday

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team had a late surge to try to come back against SCIAC unbeaten Pomona-Pitzer, but came up just short as it concluded its 2019 campaign with an 8-5 loss to the Sagehens on Saturday at Axelrood Pool.

CMS needed a win to try to force a tie for the last playoff spot in the SCIAC Tournament, and gave it a good effort, keeping the score within 3-2 at the half. However, the Sagehens outscored CMS 3-0 in the third to pull ahead 6-2 and held on in the fourth to get the win and finish the regular season with a 14-0 SCIAC record. CMS sees its season conclude at 9-15 overall and 7-7 in league play. 

The Athenas scored twice on 6-on-5 opportunities in the first quarter to tie the score, with sophomore Anna Fry coverting the first one and junior Aracelia Aldrete knotting the score at 2-2. Pomona-Pitzer scored on a 6-on-5 chance of its own to go ahead 3-2 with 14 seconds left in the first, and the score remained frozen there until the third, when the Sagehens opened up a 6-2 lead. 

CMS fought back in the fourth, though, as Aldrete scored her second goal of the game, sandwiched around a pair of tallies from freshman Alex Szymczak, to pull within 7-5 with 2:09 to go. The Sagehens answered, though, as Annie Yu scored on the next possession to make it an 8-5 game and thwart any late comeback hopes for CMS. 

Freshman goalie Jessica Salaz had a strong game for CMS, tallying nine saves on the day to keep the game close for most of the way, while freshman Maddy Menard contributed three steals to the defensive effort. 

CMS will return its top seven scorers and all three goalies from this season as it tries to earn its way back into the postseason next year, but the Athenas will lose a four-member senior class in Krystal Sung, Emma Choy, Haley Gibbs and Kaitlyn Eng, who all were consistent contributors this spring.