ERIE, Pa.--Junior All-American Stephan Cress (Rockford, Mich.) scored four goals while classmate Jake Pescatore (New Haven, Conn.) had three to lead the Connecticut College men's water polo team to a 19-9 victory against La Salle University in the opening round of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference West-Region Championship in Erie, Pa. today.
Senior Carlos Heros (Miami, Fla.), Arturo Freitas (Weston, Fla.), Isaih Porter (La Jolla, Calif.) and Calvin Frye (West Springfield, Mass.) all scored twice in the offensive uprising for the Camels. Junior Matthew Wagman (Atlanta, Ga.) turned aside 10 Explorer shots in the cage for the Camels (10-14). The Camels will continue their quest for their first conference crown later on tonight when they take on Salem International University in a 6:00 p.m. tilt. The Camels will be looking for redemption against the Tigers in tonight's semifinal match up after dropping a 17-12 decision to Salem October 16.
"This easily was the best game we played this season," Connecticut College Head Men's and Women's Water Polo Coach Matt Anderson said. "From goalkeeping to offense and defense we really put it all together. The team is playing well right now and we hope to continue it for two more games."
The game was a close contest in the first quarter of the matchup. But the Camels stood stall behind a standout defensive performance from Wagman in the cage with his 10 saves and two steals to help secure the win. La Salle (3-10) was first on the board with a quick goal with just 1:15 into the game. The Camels quickly answered back with a goal from Cress. The Explorers saw the back of the net with a goal after an exclusion, but the Camels were able to convert penalty shot by junior Isaih Porter and added another score from Aidan Kelso (Washington, D.C.) to end the quarter with a lead of 3-2.
The Camels put up a crooked number in the second quarter with an explosive offensive attack and clamped down at the defensive end as they held the Explorers to one goal, while still tallying seven goals in the period. Junior Dylan Pinckert (Long Beach, Calif.), Heros, and sophomore Chase Lesniak (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) contributed to the Camels offensive scoring surge with two assists each. The Camels had goals from Heros and fellow senior Henry McMillan (Chapel Hill, N.C.), freshmen Arturo Freitas and Sean King (La Cañada, Calif.) and also benefitted from single tallies by the junior trio comprised of Cress, Porter, and Pescatore.
The Camels outscored the Explorers 9-6 in the second half of the match to continue to pull away. Two goals apiece came from Pescatore, Cress, and freshman Calvin Frye in the half. Freitas, Heros, and freshman Timofey Belobordov (Moscow, Russia) also were all able to contribute a goal during the final periods of the game.