Water Polo Falls in Final Game of Princeton Invite
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Navy water polo team (5-5) dropped a 12-7 decision to Santa Clara (3-2) on Sunday afternoon at the Princeton Invitational. The Midshipmen fell behind early and were unable to generate enough offense to close the gap.
“It would have been nice to return with a W, but we played a strong group of teams and any outcome was possible,” said head coach Mladen Stanicic. “Today’s game was a good effort, better than the score indicated. We created numerous opportunities, but just couldn't find the back of the net this afternoon.”
Navy continued its team effort offensively as six different players combined for the Mids’ seven goals. Conor Sullivan (Greenfield, Mass.) led the team with a pair of goals, while Ian Bagent (Norcross, Ga.), Trevor Clark (San Marcos, Calif.), Gabe Gaspar (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Cole Jacobs (Napperville, Ill.), and Matt Skowronski (Oak Hill, Va.) each added goals in the contest.
At goal, Ronan Williams (Severna Park, Md.) recorded 10 stops with a pair of assists, while allowing 12 goals.
Santa Clara started the scoring with a goal a minute into the game, but Skowronski responded a minute later to knot the game at 1-1. The Broncos closed out the first quarter with three consecutive goals to take a 4-1 lead into the first break.
In the second quarter, Sullivan started the scoring with a goal 30 seconds into the frame to trim the deficit to 4-2. Santa Clara responded with back-to-back goals just before halftime.
Jacobs opened up the second half with a goal 30 seconds into third quarter, but the Broncos used four goals in the quarter to take a 10-3 advantage into the final quarter of play.
In the final quarter of play, the two teams’ defenses held for the first three minutes of the quarter not allowing a goal on either side. Santa Clara broke the scoreless drought with a goal, but Gaspar answered with a goal. After a Bronco goal extended Santa Clara’s lead to 12-4. The Midshipmen continued to fight scoring the final three goals of the match. Sullivan began the 3-0 run with his second goal of the match. Just one minute later, Clark and Bagent scored back-to-back goals to close out the scoring.
Navy returns to the pool on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, as the Midshipmen welcome George Washington, Fordham, and Bucknell to Annapolis for a trio Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference matches. The Mids and Colonials start the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 23 at noon before the Goats take on the Rams at 7:00 p.m. Navy closes out the weekend with a single game on Sunday, Sept. 24 against the Bison at 11:00 a.m.