The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s water polo team (3–5–0, 1–0–0 SCIAC) came into their Sept. 16 double-header at Axelrood Pool after facing tough competition this season. Losing to Division-I teams such as the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins (8–0, 0–0 Conf.) and the University of Southern California Trojans (10–0, 1–0 Conf.) earlier this month raised the bar and forced the CMS Stags to prove their mettle early on.
This weekend’s doubleheader was their first home match, and CMS was able to reverse its early-season trend. The Stags got off to a quick start against the California Institute of Technology Beavers (3–4, 0–1 SCIAC), nabbing a goal less than 40 seconds after the game started, with Noah Deer CM ’18 finding the back of the net.
CMS proceeded to blow Caltech of out of the water. Despite a relatively quick equalizer by Caltech, the Stags then scored six unanswered goals, with Deer adding two more goals and two assists from Robert Driscoll CM ’21. CMS climbed out of the pool with a sturdy 14–6 victory under their belts.
Three hours later, the Stags took on the Riverside Community College Tigers (4–3, 1–0 Conf.). Riverside managed two goals late in the half, but the Stags already rattled off eight goals for a comfortable 8–3 lead by halftime. In the second half the Stags' lead only grew as Ethan Lewis CM ’20 and Christian Thornton CM ’21 each tacked on two goals.
A crucial mid-game run was equally critical in the Stags’ second win against the Tigers. CMS held only a 4–3 lead after the first quarter, but a 7–0 run in the second quarter gave them a far more comfortable 11–3 advantage. Zach Rossman CM '21 scored two of the goals during the run. The Stags fought off another comeback from Riverside, and retaliated by clinching a 50 run for the 18–9 blowout.
The games' goal totals – 14 and 18 – were by far CMS’ most potent attacking performances of the season thus far.
The Stags' regular season will kick into gear following an extended game break. Their next game will be against their cross street rivals, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (2–5, 1–1 SCIAC), at Pomona College on Wednesday, Sept. 27.