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Water Polo Drops Pair of Matches at Princeton Invite

Sept. 9, 2017

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Navy water polo team fell in a pair of matches on Saturday at the Princeton Invitational in Princeton, N.J. The Midshipmen (5-4) were edged 11-10 by Wagner in a morning match, before dropping a 13-7 decision to No. 18 Saint Francis Brooklyn.

"It was two different games by us," head coach Mladen Stanicic said. "This morning, turnovers cost us a game in which we otherwise invested a great effort. This evening was mainly the story of power plays. Saint Francis converted theirs, while we struggled with ours."

Offensively, the Mids tallied 17 points in two games with 12 different players scoring goals. Each match saw seven Mids scoring in a balanced offensive attack. Senior captain Matt Skowronski (Oak Hill, Va.) led the charge, scoring four goals on the day, while Nate Reiff (Wheeling, Ill.) and Crawford Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) each added a pair of scores on the day.

At goal, the Midshipmen saw all three goalies on their roster Ronan Williams (Severna Park, Md.), Francis Kim (Houston, Texas), and Brandon Shields (Lake Forest, Calif.) split time between the pipes. The trio combined to allow 24 goals in two games, while posting 28 saves.

Navy concludes play in the 2017 Princeton Invitational with a single match on Sunday afternoon as the Midshipmen face off against Santa Clara at 2:45 p.m.

Game 1 Recap: Wagner 11, Navy 10 Navy was edged by Wagner, 11-10, in the opening match of the Princeton Invitational in a Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference match.

The Midshipmen were led by Skowronski who tallied three goals in the match for his first hat trick of the season. Reiff also netted a pair of goals, while five other Mids chipped in goals. Reiff finished the match with five points, adding a team-high three assists in the contest.

At goal, the Mids used the duo of Williams and Kim between the pipes. Williams earned the start, allowing eight goals and posting six saves. He gave way to Kim who notched 11 saves, giving up three goals.

The Mids trailed 3-2 after one quarter, and the Seahawks capitalized on the Midshipmen's miscues to take an 8-3 advantage into halftime. Skowronski, Conor Sullivan (Greenfield, Mass.) and Reiff all netted goals in the first half.

Navy's defense stepped up in the third quarter holding Wagner without a goal, allowing the offense to rattle off five consecutive goals to go into the fourth and final quarter tied 8-8. Andrew Shashin (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) began the run with a goal just over 20 seconds into the quarter. Skowronski and Smith notched back-to-back goals to close the gap to 8-6. William Lowdon (Hillsborough, Calif.) pulled the Midshipmen to within one and Taylor Bernhardt (Annapolis, Md.) knotted the game at eight.

In the final quarter of play, the Seahawks struck first, but Reiff responded with a goal to knot the game at 9-9 with 4:14 to play. Wagner regained the lead with a goal with just under two and a half minutes to play. The Seahawks extended their lead to 11-9 with 58 ticks on the clock. Nine seconds later, Skowronski fired in his third goal of the game to pull the Midshipmen to within one. The Mids were unable to net the equalizer, dropping the one-goal decision.

Game 2 Recap: No. 18 Saint Francis Brooklyn 13, Navy 7 In the night cap, Navy fell 13-7 to No. 18 Saint Francis Brooklyn, marking the Mids' third loss of the season to a ranked opponent.

The Terriers led 2-0 before a goal by Jesse Hainze (Bellevue, Wash.) put the Midshipmen on the scoreboard. Saint Francis Brooklyn was able to tally two more goals in the stanza to take a 4-1 advantage through the first quarter.

After a Terrier goal, Skowronski trimmed the score to 5-2 with a goal, but three straight strikes by Saint Francis Brooklyn increased the advantage to 8-2. Nik Galvan (Henderson, Nev.) scored just before halftime to cut the deficit to 8-3 at intermission.

The third quarter saw the Terriers extend their lead to 11-3 before Gabe Gaspar (Pittsburgh, Pa.) broke the scoreless drought with a goal with 17 seconds remaining in the period. Smith and Trevor Clark (San Marcos, Calif.) posted back-to-back goals to pull Navy closer, 11-6, to start the fourth quarter. Saint Francis scored once more with 4:10 remaining on the clock. The Mids used a goal by Ian Bagent (Norcross, Ga.) to provide the final score of 13-7.



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