Nov. 6, 2011
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The No. 16-ranked Navy water polo team went on a 4-0 run midway through the second half to break open a tight game and best 15th-ranked Princeton, 10-5, in the finals of the CWPA Southern Division Championship on Sunday afternoon.
The win improves Navy's overall record to 22-6 and earns the Midshipmen their 13th CWPA Southern Division Tournament title in just 19 seasons. Navy improved to 58-6 all-time in the tournament.
Princeton falls to 19-9 overall. The Tigers had defeated Navy in overtime in the two previous regular-season contests earlier this year.
"We played a great game and were very stout defensively and solid on offense," said Navy assistant coach Mladen Stanicic.
The Midshipmen and Tigers traded goals for most of the first half and Navy led 5-4 at the halftime break. The Midshipmen scored the second half's first goal to take the contest's first two-goal lead of the game at 6-4. Princeton scored the next goal to cut the margin to 6-5 and had a chance to tie the game on a Navy ejection. But the Midshipmen gained possession and scored on a counter-attack to push the lead back to two goals at 7-5 midway through the third quarter.
Princeton couldn't recover from the quick Navy goal and the Mids would score the final three goals of the game for the final 10-5 decision.
Kyle Wertz continues to play well offensively, pacing the Midshipmen with five goals. Darren McKay scored three times and Conor Handley and Paul Pedrotty scored once each. Anthony Gutierrez recorded seven saves in goal.
continues to play well on the offensive end and give us very good production," said Stanicic. "Darren McKay
had a great game on both ends of the pool and Anthony Gutierrez
played well in goal and came up with a couple of timely steals.
"It was just a very solid performance by the team all weekend," added Stanicic. "We are quite happy with the wins, but we still have some areas that need to be polished up. But we took a big step forward this weekend."
Navy will now have the first Southern seed in the CWPA Eastern Championship during the weekend of Nov. 18-20 in Cambridge, Mass. The Mids will either be seeded first or second overall.
# GO NAVY #