WHITTIER, Calif. — Division III No. 2-ranked/No. 3 seeded/Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges used a strong second-half to defeat the Division III No. 5/No. 2 seeded/Division III Eastern Champion Johns Hopkins University water polo team, 14-11, in the second semifinal of the inaugural Division III National Collegiate Championship sponsored by USA Water Polo at Whittier College’s Slade Aquatic Center.
The loss places JHU in the third-place game scheduled for Sunday, December 8, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific/1:30 p.m. Eastern against No. 4 seeded/Division III Eastern runner-up/Division III No. 7 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which suffered a 12-8 setback against top-seeded/SCIAC Champion/Division III/host No. 1 Whittier in the first semifinal. Whittier will take on CMS at 12:30 p.m. Pacific/3:30 p.m. Eastern for the Division III Collegiate Water Polo National Championship.
Sophomore Emerson Sullivan opened the scoring 90 seconds in, but CJ Box answered for the Stags at the 3:52 mark.
Junior Olin Shipstead put the Blue Jays back on top less than a minute later. Zach Rossman converted a man-up goal to tie the game at 1:07, but sophomore Jayden Kunwar scored one of his own to stake Hopkins to a 3-2 lead after one quarter of action.
Koss Klobucher knotted the score at three just 45 seconds into the second and Rossman followed with a five-meter goal to put Claremont-Mudd-Scripps up 4-3. Juniors John Murphy and Stephen Schmidt scored a pair of goals in a 59-second span to grab the lead back for Hopkins with 1:30 to go in the half. The lead was short-lived, however, as Christian Thornton scored just 28 seconds later to make it a 5-5 game at the break.
Junior Jake Pearson scored as the shot clock expired to put the Blue Jays up 6-5 early in the third. Ethan Lewis responded just 16 seconds later to spark a 4-1 run as the Stags took a 9-7 lead with 1:35 to play in the quarter. Schmidt banged one in off the post to pull Hopkins back within one but a Nick Britt man-up goal gave CMS a 10-8 lead after three quarters.
Sullivan scored from close range just 46 seconds into the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to one. Claremont responded with back-to-back goals in less than a minute to push its lead to 12-9. Shipstead made it a two-goal game with 3:45 to play, but the Blue Jays could get no closer. The Stags sandwiched two goals around a strike from Sullivan in the final three minutes to punch their ticket to the final.
Hopkins falls to 7-8 all-time against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps as the teams split the season series as the Blue Jays defeated the Stags by a 9-8 count on October 4 during the Gary Troyer Tournament.
Sullivan led the Blue Jays with three goals, while Shipstead had a team-best four points (two goals, two assists) and two ejections drawn.
Kunwar added two goals and an assist to go with two ejections drawn and a steal. Pearson chipped in three points (one goal, two assists) and a steal.
Senior Finn Banks handed out two assists to tie the school single-season record of 68, held by Langdon Froomer. Junior Max Fleming finished with 11 saves, his eighth double-digit save performance of the season.
Release courtesy Johns Hopkins University Athletics Communications