Water Polo Tripped Up by No. 17 Bucknell
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Navy water polo team (8-14, 1-8 MAWPC) dropped a 12-6 decision on the road to No. 17 Bucknell (16-11, 9-0 MAWPC) on Saturday evening at Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa. The Mids were unable to match the nationally-ranked Bison’s offensive output.
“We created plenty of opportunities, but we didn’t convert” head coach Mladen Stanicic said after the game. “We were 1-for-8 in converting power plays and 1-for-2 scoring 5-meter penalties. We will continue to play hard, go hard to the cage, and the shots will start falling.”
Navy saw five players combine to score six goals. Plebe Bobby Lee (Santa Ana, Calif.) led the charge for the Midshipmen, netting a pair of goals, increasing his team-lead in goals to 27 on the year. B. Lee was joined by Jared Castillo (League City, Texas), William Lowdon (Hillsborough, Calif.), Crawford Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), and senior captain Matt Skowronski (Oak Hill, Va.) with goals on the night.
Francis Kim (Houston, Texas) and Ronan Williams (Severna Park, Md.) split time between the post for the Midshipmen. Kim finished the game with nine saves, but surrendered eight goals, while Williams allowed four goals, making three stops.
B. Lee started the game off for the Mids with a goal to put the visitors in front 1-0. Bucknell responded, but Castillo returned the favor with a goal to put Navy up 2-1. The Bison scored a goal prior to the clock running out in the first quarter to move to the second period knotted at 2-2.
In the second quarter, the nationally-ranked Bison used a 4-0 run to take a 6-2 lead into halftime.
The Midshipmen were able to counter with a goal in the third quarter by Lowdown to cut the lead to 6-3, however the home team closed out the stanza with a 3-0 run to go into the final quarter of play up 9-3.
Navy continued to fight as B. Lee opened the fourth quarter with a quick strike to trim the deficit to 9-4. Bucknell answered, but Smith responded to cut the margin to 10-5 with under three minutes to play. Back-to-back goals by the Bison gave the hosts a 12-5 edge, and a goal by Skowronski with 14 seconds to play provided the final score of 12-6.
The Navy water polo team concludes the regular season with a road game against Fordham on Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Bronx, N.Y. at noon.
Navy will host the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championship at Lejeune Hall on Friday through Sunday, Nov. 17-19. This is the second MAWPC Championship, and the winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship. Ticket prices are $25 for a tournament pass and $10 for a one-day pass. Children under 12 are free.