MAC Championship Round 2: Wagner 18, Connecticut College 6 Cress Records Hat-Trick for Camels

MAC Championship Round 2: Wagner 18, Connecticut College 6 Cress Records Hat-Trick for Camels

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Wagner College's Devin O'Donnell (So., Pointe-Claire, Quebec/Selwyn) scored four times, while Player of the Game Ciaran Wolohan (Jr., Manly, Australia/St. Aloysius College) and Matthew Miller (Fr., San Ramon, Calif./Californith) both put away three as the Seahawks pulled away from Connecticut College to collect an 18-6 victory in advancing to the Fifth Place game of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Championship at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.

Wagner predominantly controlled the pace and style of the game as O'Donnell got his squad on the board 30 seconds into the contest (7:30) via the first of eight man-up goals scored by the Seahawks against the Lakers.  The Camels answered 22 seconds later (7:08) with an even-strength tally from Stephan Cress (Jr., Rockford, Mich./Rockford) to balance the scoreboard, but Mike Ward (Fr., Grayslake, Ill./Mundelein) and Danny Rafael (Fr., Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City) fired home power-play strikes at 4:59 and 2:06 and the duo of Oscar Nomura (Fr., Irvine, Calif./Irvine) and Wolohan found paydirt at 2:48 and 59 seconds with the squads at even-strength to widen Wagner's lead to 5-1 by the conclusion of the opening quarter of play.

Cress chopped the margin back to a pair with back-to-back markers at 7:28 and 7:00 of the second quarter to lead the Camels back within 5-3, but Wolohan hammered in an advantage opportunity at 4:43 to make it 6-3.

The lead would sway between three and two goals over the remainder of the first half as Sean King (Fr., La Canada, Calif./Flintridge Prep) jammed in a man-up bid at 1:17 to make it 6-4 and Miller answered with his own six-on-five conversion with 46 seconds remaining to push the gap to 7-4.  Connecticut inched back within a pair prior to the halftime horn as Henry McMillan (Sr., Chapel Hill, N.C./Choate Rosemary Hall) lined a shot into the cage with 34 seconds left to trim the Camels' deficit down to 7-5 entering intermission.

It would mark the closest Connecticut would be for the remainder of the contest as Wolohan (5:50), Miller (3:59) and Tanner Kaplan (Fr., Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) (3:06) put away natural scores to begin the third quarter and widen the chasm between the teams to 10-5 in favor of the Seahawks.

For Wagner, Kaplan and Nomura posted pairs of goals to join O'Donnell, Wolohan and Miller in recording multi-score games.  O'Connell, Rafael, Ward and Grady each ripped in solo tallies while goalie Joseph Ferraro (Fr., Newport Harbor, Calif./Newport Harbor) picked up the victory with eight saves.

Connecticut received a hat-trick by Cress to accompany single markers by McMillan, King and Freitas.  Goalie Matthew Wagman (Jr., Atlanta, Georgia/Williston Northampton) earned the start and made two saves with seven scores permitted in the first half prior to Isaih Porter (Jr., La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla) coming in from the field to stop four shots with 11 goals allowed in the second half.

The loss drops Connecticut into the Seventh Place game at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 20, as the Camels will face the Lakers from Mercyhurst in the consolation game. Connecticut and Mercyhurst split during the regular/postseason with the Camels taking an 14-13 overtime regular season victory at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., on October 15 prior to falling by an 11-8 count in the MAWPC-West Region Championship in Erie, Pa., on November 6.

1 2 3 4 -- Final
Connecticut College (11-17, 6-3 MAWPC-West)
-- 6
Wagner College (9-20, 3-7 MAWPC-East)
-- 18

Wagner Goals: Devin O'Donnell (4); Ciaran Wolohan (3); Matthew Miller (3); Tanner Kaplan (2); Oscar Nomura (2); Tristan O'Connell; Danny Rafael; Mike Ward; James Grady

Connecticut Goals: Stephan Cress (3); Henry McMillan; Sean King; Arturo Freitas

Saves: Wagner - Joseph Ferraro (8) ; Connecticut - Matthew Wagman (2, 16 minutes), Isaih Porter (4, 16 minutes)

Exclusions: Wagner - 8 ; Connecticut - 12

Advantage Opportunities: Wagner - 8-for-12 ; Connecticut - 1-for-8

Sprints: Wagner - 4-for-4 ; Connecticut - 0-for-4

Cards: YC - Wagner (Head coach Chris Radmonovich, 3:14 left in 2nd Quarter); YC - Connecticut (Head coach Matt Anderson, 1:00 left in 2nd Quarter)

Misconducts: Connecticut - Dylan Piknckert (4:50 left in 2nd Quarter)

Officials: Jamie Wolff, Val Vasilchikov