ERIE, Pa. – A valiant comeback effort came up just shy as the Connecticut College men's water polo team dropped the fifth-place game at the MAWPC-West Region Championships to McKendree by a 7-6 score on Sunday morning.
The teams played a tight first quarter and found themselves tied at 2-2 through eight minutes of play. McKendree, however, started to gain the upper hand by scoring five of the game's six goals during the middle quarters. The Bearcats got a marker from Robert Esson to take a 7-3 lead through three quarters of play.
Despite being set back, Connecticut College did not go down without a fight and kept their opponent off the scoreboard throughout the fourth quarter. Senior Dylan Pinckert (Long Beach, Calif.) and sophomores Arturo Freitas (Weston, Fla.) and Sean King (La Canada, Calif.) all scored to bring the Camels within one with 3:51 to play, but that was as close as they would come before time would eventually run out.
"We played hard and did everything correctly, but unfortunately we were unable to finish our power plays this morning," stated head coach Matt Anderson. "There were just too many goals which we left on the table during our extra man situations. We suffered two close losses to Division I and Division II programs, but I was proud that we accomplished our main goal of finishing ahead of all of the other Division III programs at the tournament."
Following the end of the weekend's action, seniors Stephan Cress (Rockford, Mich.) and Pinckert were named to the all-tournament team. Cress most notably set a championship record by scoring 10 goals against Washington & Jefferson yesterday, while Pinckert anchored a defense which yielded 10 goals per contest and an average of 8.5 against Division II and Division III competition.
Connecticut College (8-14) concludes its regular season when it travels to Brown on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.