Oct. 12, 2013
LEWISBURG, Pa. & PRINCETON, N.J. - The Navy water polo team lost a pair of hard-fought road CWPA contests on Saturday as the Mids fell at Bucknell and #12 Princeton. In their first game, the Mids lost 11-10 at Bucknell (7-4, 2-3 CWPA South), before traveling east and falling at Princeton (13-3, 6-0 CWPA South) by a score of 16-11.
Sophomores Robert Sutherland (Denton, Texas) and Carl Dowzicky (Collegeville, Pa.) led Navy (9-14, 0-6 CWPA South) with a combined 11 goals. Sutherland tallied seven goals, while Dowzicky found the back of the net four times. Junior Jack Finch (San Mateo, Calif.) also had a strong offensive day for the Mids with 11 points on two goals and nine assists.
Navy's day began in Lewisburg, Pa. where the Mids looked to avenge an early season defeat to the Bison. In a back-and-forth game, Navy got on the scoreboard first with two unanswered goals in the first 4:38 of the first quarter. Dowzicky and Sutherland connected for the scores at 7:30 and 3:22, respectively.
Bucknell would close the opening period on a 3-0 run to take the lead into the first break.
Down 3-2, Navy once again scored back-to-back goals as Sutherland netted his second and third markers of the game.
The see-saw battle continued down the stretch in the second quarter as Bucknell and Navy each scored over the final 2:05 of play. After a Bucknell tally made it 4-4, senior Sean McDonald (Lansdale, Pa.) gave Navy a 5-4 lead with a goal just seven seconds before the period ended.
Coming out of halftime with a one-goal advantage, the Mids quickly expanded their lead to two as Dowzicky once again found the back of the net.
With the score 6-4 in favor of Navy at the 7:12 mark of the third quarter, the host Bison would mount a 6-0 run over the next period and a half to eventually flip the score to a 10-6 margin in their favor.
The Mids never stopped scratching away at the deficit in the fourth quarter as a 4-1 run between 4:33 and 1:59 tightened the game to an 11-10 score. Sutherland, Finch, McDonald and Thomas Patterson (Jr., Orange, Calif.) all scored for Navy during this comeback attempt.
Navy had one final chance to tie up the contest late in the fourth quarter when the Mids drew their 12th ejection of a Bucknell player at 1:24. Unfortunately for Navy, the man-up situation was unsuccessful and the Bison would hold on for the 11-10 win.
"Our biggest weakness was power play conversion. We drew twice as many exclusions as Bucknell, but converted just 30%," said interim head coach Mladen Stanicic. "Though disappointed with the outcome, we created most of our offensive output with counter-attacks and our transition defense has improved a great deal, which are positive signs."
After a bit of travel to central New Jersey, the Mids would face the 12th-ranked Princeton in Saturday's night cap.
Though down throughout the majority of the game, Navy fought hard and kept Princeton within striking distance until a Tiger run late in the third quarter.
After the Tigers held a 4-2 advantage at the end of first quarter, the Mids evened up the score in the second quarter at 6-6.
A 2-0 run by Princeton before the half, put Navy in an 8-6 deficit.
The Tigers attempted to break away from the Mids in the early part of the third quarter with another goal, but Navy responded quickly with two unanswered goals to make it 9-8.
Three consecutive goals by Princeton made the score 12-8 heading into the fourth quarter.
Princeton would close out its victory over Navy with a 4-3 advantage in goals in the final period of play.
In the 16-11 setback, Sutherland led the Mids with three goals. Senior Andrew Lacosse (Owings, Md.) and Dowzicky each notched two goals to aid Navy's offense. Lucas MacLellan (So., Yorba Linda, Calif.), Will Weggeland (So., Riverside, Calif.) and Finch all netted single goals to round out Navy's scorers versus Princeton.
"We got down early which hurt us," said Stanicic. "We hard fought to stay close, but Princeton took advantage of our mental mistakes in the second half and capitalized to expand its lead. We will look forward to getting sharper during our off week."
The Mids will have 14 days until their next action as they will host St. Francis NY at Scott Natatorium in a 10:00 a.m. contest.