Sagehens Take Down Stags in Lopsided Water Polo Win

Adam Gross PZ ’21 passes the ball to a teammate during the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo game at Haldeman Pool on Wednesday, September 27th. (Akshaya Amarneth • The Student Life)

Wednesday night's men’s water polo match at Haldeman Pool quickly turned into a blowout as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps fell to Pomona-Pitzer in a 11-5 loss.

Though the final score was lopsided, the Stags felt confident about their chances coming into the the Sixth Street Rivalry. CJ Box CM ’21 told TSL pre-game, “I think our team is really close this year. We’ve been working really hard, and I look forward to seeing what we can do tonight.”

For the better part of the first quarter, Box’s confidence seemed to be well-placed as the Stags (3-6, 1-1 SCIAC) immediately won the drop ball and incessantly pressed the Sagehens' (4-8, 2-1 SCIAC) defense. This pressure eventually led to two goals for CMS, one of which was off an ordinary foul from Graham Fullerton CM ’18 at 7:31 and a rocket of a top right corner shot from Zack Rossman CM ’20 at 6:54 of the first.

CMS continued to bring the heat, forcing goalkeeper Daniel Diemer PZ ’18 to make two great saves, a performance that would continue throughout the course of the game. “Diemer was phenomenal in the cage,” P-P coach Alex Rodriguez said after the match. “We made a lot of mistakes that he made up for.”

Before CMS could run away with the game, Adam Ward PZ ’21 found the back of the net at 5:06. Nick Britt CM ’21 did retaliate with a shot from five meters out, but the final part of the quarter saw P-P scoring on three consecutive occasions, and the Stags and Sagehens headed into the second quarter deadlocked 3-3.

P-P continued their streak of goals at 5:58 when Joseph Schafer PO ’20 hurled the ball right through the hands of goalkeeper Evan Pauletich CM ’19, and Keegan Coleman PZ ’21 quickly added another goal right after. At this point, it became clear that the Stags were struggling to get into a scoring opportunity by giving up possession through fouls and running out the shot clock.

The rest of the quarter remained scoreless, but only due to impressive performances from CMS keeper Evan Pauletich CM ’19, who made four consecutive saves. By the time halftime hit, the Sagehens led 6-3.

P-P’s lead only continued to grow in the second half. After Diemer made four great saves, Schafer scored a very similar goal to his first at 5:03 by sending it through the hands of Pauletich yet again. At 2:55, Dylan Elliot PO '21 ricocheted the ball off the right goal post into a CMS defender and finally, across the line of the goal.

Noah Deer CM ’18 did manage to finish the third quarter with a goal, yet the Sagehens immediately responded with three more goals to start the final quarter and pushed the score to 11-4.

CMS did have the last say in the game when Barron Banta CM '21 lobbed a shot over the keeper into the top right corner of the frame at 0:25, but by then it was far too late.

After the game, Zach Senator PO '20 was excited about the win and commented on how pleased the team was to beat their rival.

“Since we lost our second SCIAC game to Whittier, it was good to win, especially against CMS,” Senator said.

For CMS, it was a disappointing night all-around, CMS coach Greg Lonzo said.

“[P-P] obviously did a very good job on defense of creating the shots that they wanted and putting us in situations where it’s tough to finish against their defensive sets,” he added. “I think the loss was a combination of them playing solid defense and us missing opportunities.”