Oct. 29, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 16th-ranked Navy water polo team closed out its regular season with a pair of convincing victories, which allowed the Midshipmen to finish second in the CWPA Southern Division standings. The Mids defeated Johns Hopkins, 16-7, in the first game and then George Washington, 15-8, in the nightcap.
The wins move Navy's record to 18-6 overall and 5-3 in the CWPA Southern Division. It was also Mike Schofield's 596th career win at Navy, allowing him to become the school's all-time winningest coach by victories in any sport. He passes legendary baseball coach Joe Duff, who won 595 games in 32 years at Navy.
"Most importantly, our program has been blessed for 30 years with hard working, dedicated players willing to put in the time and effort required to be good in our sport. Without them, I wouldn't have lasted very long here. Plus, putting up with me isn't always easy, so they all have my gratitude and respect for that as well. All of our assistants over the years have had a huge positive impact on the success of our teams, none more than the one we have now, Mladen Stanicic," said Schofield. "Joe Duff was a man I had the honor of working with for many years here at the Naval Academy, and he taught me a lot, along with other Navy legends such as Dave Smalley, Ed Peery and Al Cantello. Not a week goes by that I don't use, or consider using one of Joe's many favorite sayings. I'm also grateful to former Navy swim coach Lee Lawrence for giving me the opportunity to coach at Navy and this place has been a blessing to our entire family."
Navy trailed 3-2 after one quarter and 4-3 at halftime in the day's first game against Johns Hopkins, but used a 7-1 third-quarter advantage against the Blue Jays to blow the game open and cruise in for the 16-7 victory.
"Other than the first half against Johns Hopkins, we were really able to put the ball away. We didn't do that in the first half and that is why we were down a goal," said Schofield. "Once we woke up a little bit, and we were realized we were able to get out on the break, we were really good. We were able to get out on the break and counter-attacks, and were able to bury some goals and get some momentum."
led Navy with three goals, while Darren McKay
had two goals and four assists and Conor Handley
contributed two goals and three assists. Freshman Pat Seipp
also had two goals for the Midshipmen. Anthony Gutierrez
had five saves and two assists in goal.
In the win over George Washington, the Midshipmen led just 2-1 after one quarter, but went up 7-3 at halftime and 11-3 after three quarters to breeze to the 15-8 victory over the Colonials.
Senior Kyle Wertz had a career-high eight goals, just one shy of the school-record nine by Brian Wineke against Slippery Rock in 1993. Meanwhile, Arny Warren matched a school record with five assists, last done by Thomas Sutherlin vs. MIT in the 1983 season. Handley also contributed three goals and an assist. Gutierrez had three saves in limited action in goal.
"I think we probably had five or six good quarters and that is an improvement for us," said Schofield. "Darren McKay had a really good day and gave us a lot of energy. Conor Handley had a good day and really used his speed very well. Anthony Gutierrez had a strong day in goal and was really valuable starting our break and counter-attacks.
"It was also a nice way for the seniors to go out, play well and get victories in their final home games of their careers," added Schofield.
Navy will head to the CWPA Southern Division Tournament next weekend in Princeton, N.J. Action gets underway next Friday against a foe to be determined.
# GO NAVY #