Water Polo Splits Final Home Stand of Regular Season
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy water polo team played a day-night doubleheader on Sunday, Oct.1 at Scott Natatorium in Annapolis. The Mids (6-9, 1-5 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference) opened the day, falling to Wagner (9-5, 3-1 MAWPC) by a score of 15-6, but rebounded in the nightcap for a 10-4 victory over Johns Hopkins (8-7, 0-5 MAWPC), snapping the Midshipmen’s losing streak.
“Playing with intensity is our style of play,” head coach Mladen Stanicic said of the day. “This morning it wasn’t there for whatever reason. Between games, we reiterated the need for intensity and the guys came through. We were significantly able to reduce our turnovers to just five in the second match, which was huge. I was excited we were able to do that today.”
The second match of the day was the final home regular season match of the year for the Midshipmen and the team’s seniors were recognized prior to the game as part of Senior Day.
“We count on our seniors to lead us in and out of the pool, and the team follows,” Mladen said of his senior class. “The seniors did not have the best game this morning, but they stepped up and had a team meeting and tonight’s match was a big reflection of that leadership.”
Offensively, the Midshipmen received four goals on the day from plebe Bobby Lee (Santa Ana, Calif.), as well as three goals by senior Jared Castillo (League City, Texas) and senior captain Matt Skowronski (Oak Hill, Va.). B. Lee finished the game with two goals in each game, while Skowronski tallied a pair of goals against Wagner and one goal against Hopkins. Castillo recorded a hat trick against the Blue Jays to lead all scorers.
Defensively, Francis Kim (Houston, Texas) logged the majority of minutes between the posts for the Mids on the day. Kim surrendered 15 goals against Wagner, while tallying 11 saves in the match. In the late game, Kim recorded 14 stops, while surrendering a pair of goals. Kim gave way to Brandon Shields (Lake Forest, Calif.) in the second half. Shields allowed a pair of goals in the victory.
Navy returns to action next weekend as the Midshipmen travel to Claremont, Calif. for the Gary Troyer Tournament hosted by Pomona-Pitzer. The Mids will play Air Force (1:30 p.m. ET) and La Verne (5:15 p.m. ET) on Friday, Oct. 6 before closing out the tournament on Saturday, Oct. 7 with games against Chapman (1:30 p.m. ET) and host Pomona-Pitzer (10:15 p.m. ET).
Game 1 Recap: Wagner 15, Navy 6
The first game of the day saw the Midshipmen falling, 15-6, to the Seahawks. Navy was led by B. Lee and Skowronski who each tallied a pair of goals in the match.
Wagner was able to scratch the scoreboard first, netting a goal at point blank range two-minutes into the match. With four and a half minutes to play in the period, B. Lee knotted the score at 1-1 with his twelfth goal of the season. Skowronski gave the Mids their first lead of the morning, converting a penalty shot half way through the quarter. The Seahawks were able to tie the game at 2-2 just 30 seconds later. The score remained tied at two until Wagner broke the deadlock with a goal with two seconds remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Seahawks opened the scoring, netting a goal with less than a minute off the play clock. Trailing 4-2, J.B. Lee (Newport Coast, Calif.) rocketed a strike into the bottom right corner of the goal to trim the margin to one. However, the Seahawks netted four consecutive goals to end the quarter to take their largest lead of the first half at 8-3 into halftime.
Defense stiffened for both teams in the third quarter. Neither team was able to break the plane of the goal for the first half of the quarter. Wagner ended the scoreless drought with back-to-back goals in the fifth minute of the quarter to push its lead to 10-3. Skowronski netted his second penalty-shot goal of the game to end the Seahawks run. Wagner responded with a pair of goals, before Gabe Gaspar (Pittsburgh, Pa.) closed out the third quarter with a goal for Navy to pull the Mids closer, 12-5.
The fourth quarter saw the Seahawks outscore the Midshipmen, 3-1, to claim the 15-6 victory. The Mid’s goal in the fourth was netted by B. Lee – his team-leading 13th of the season.
Game 2 Recap: Navy 10, Johns Hopkins 4
In the nightcap, the Midshipmen were firing on all cylinders putting up a terrific effort on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Castillo finished the game with three goals for a hat trick, while Kim picked up the win at goal, notching 14 saves, while surrendering just two goals.
Jack Robinson (Riverside, Conn.) got the scoring going for Navy in the second game of the day. The senior put the Mids in front 1-0 with a goal from the five-meter line. Kevin Volkov (Freehold, N.J.) took a long pass ahead of the defense and found the back of the net to put the Mids up 2-0 with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Skowronski converted his third penalty shot of the day to put the Midshipmen up 3-0 on Hopkins with six minutes to play in the second quarter. The score remained 3-0 for the next five and a half minutes as the defense for both teams clamped down on the offensive attacks. B. Lee ended the scoring drought, converting a penalty shot with 26.6 seconds remaining in the quarter, allowing Navy to take a 4-0 lead into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Castillo wasted little time, pushing the lead to 5-0 with a goal 25 seconds into the period. Roughly 45 seconds later, Castillo found the back of the net for his second goal of the game to extend the lead to 6-0. With 6:40 on the clock, Johns Hopkins ended the run for Navy with a its first goal of the match. The Midshipmen answered the goal with 3:35 remaining on the third quarter clock. William Lowdon (Hillsborough, Calif.) attempted a shot that hit the post, but B. Lee grabbed the rebound and dumped it into the open net to extend the Navy advantage to 7-1.
The fourth quarter saw Shepherd Warren (Baltimore, Md.) take a pass from Cole Jacobs (Naperville, Ill.) and bury it in the back of the net to give Navy an 8-1 advantage. One minute later, Jake Haines (Ashburn, Va.) took a pass from Warren and scored to make the score 9-1. Castillo picked up the hat trick with a goal that bounced off the top cross bar and side post to give the Mids double-digit points in the game. Three consecutive Blue Jay goals in the final two and a half minutes trimmed the lead to 10-4, but the Mids were able to close out the game and come away with the 10-4 victory.