Nov. 9, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy water polo team punched its ticket into Sunday’s CWPA Southern Division Championship game with a pair of hard fought wins over Johns Hopkins and Princeton on Saturday at Lejeune Hall. In their first game of the day, the fifth-seeded Mids defeated the fourth-seeded Blue Jays 11-9 before knocking off the top-seeded Tigers 12-10 in the night cap.
Sophomore Carpenter Warren (Baltimore, Md.) led Navy with six total goals on a pair of hat tricks on Saturday. Will Weggeland (Riverside, Calif.) aided his classmate with five goals, including three versus Princeton. Goalie Garrett Sabesky (So., Lakeside, Calif.) gave the Mids a third stellar sophomore performer on the day as he combined for 34 saves, registering 19 against Johns Hopkins and 15 versus Princeton.
In their first game of the day at 1 p.m. versus Johns Hopkins, the host Mids jumped out to a 2-1 lead by the end of the first quarter. Warren scored Navy’s first goal at 4:15 before Thomas Patterson (Orange, Calif.) broke a 1-1 tie with a marker at 1:28.
In the second period, Navy put some distance between itself and Johns Hopkins with a 4-0 run to open play. Four separate Mids netted goals during this span to give the team a 6-1 lead with 1:30 left in the second quarter. A late Blue Jay marker with 36 seconds left sent the teams into the halftime break at 6-2.
Johns Hopkins tightened the contest to three goals in the third quarter as it outscored Navy 4-3. Warren was one of three Mids to score in the stanza as he capped his in-game hat trick with a score at 1:28.
With the score 9-6 going into the fourth quarter, Navy would hold off JHU by scoring two more goals, one by Weggeland and one by Sean McDonald (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.). Each of those goals were the second of the game for both Weggeland and McDonald.
A pair of late Blue Jay goals would conclude the game with a 11-9 final result.
“This was a huge win that to a great degree was based on good defense,” said Navy head coach Mladen Stanicic. “We stopped 77% of JHU’s power-plays, while we converted 44% of ours. Our defensive stops also produced three counterattack goals, which was a welcomed bonus.”
The Mids got back into the pool for a 7:40 p.m. showdown with the top-seeded Princeton Tigers. Coming into the contest with six consecutive wins, Navy’s confidence was riding high even though Princeton had defeated them by five goals in both of their prior 2013 matchups.
The first quarter was plagued with physical play as only one goal was scored, while seven ejections were called by officials. The Tigers’ Thomas Nelson netted the period’s lone goal at 6:14.
The offense picked up in the second quarter as the teams combined for three goals over the first 2:04. After Princeton made it 2-0, Weggeland and Warren scored back-to-back to tie the game. Navy kept this goal streak going with two more unanswered markers. Warren and Patterson netted the goals for the Mids that made it 4-2. A late goal by the Tigers made it a 4-3 game at the half.
In the third period, Navy stretched its lead back out to two goals by outscoring Princeton 3-2. A trio of Mids, Weggeland, Patterson and P.J. Taylor (Jr., Dallas, Texas) scored in the quarter.
With the score at 7-5 in its favor, Navy quickly extended its lead in the fourth as it looked to clinch the victory. Weggeland and Warren scored at 7:29 and 6:15 to make it a 9-5 game.
In a hectic closing of the semifinal, the teams combined to score eight goals over the final 6:03. Princeton put a scare into Navy with three consecutive scores during this stretch to tighten the game to 9-8. The Mids kept their composure and calmly found Robert Sutherland
(So., Denton, Texas) on back-to-back possessions to re-open their lead to three at 11-8.
Before a loud and raucous crowd at Lejeune Hall, Navy would hold on over the final 90 seconds to secure its spot in Sunday’s Championship game with a final 12-10 result.
For the game, Sutherland, Warren and Weggeland all registered hat tricks for the Mids. In net, Sabesky turned aside 15 Princeton shots on goal.
As a team, Navy’s defense held Princeton to just seven goals in 18 man-down situations.
With the win, the fifth-seeded Mids improve to 16-14 on the season, but more importantly advance to the finals to take on the second-seeded Bucknell Bison team that defeated Mercyhurst, 8-6 in the 9 p.m. semifinal contest.
Navy and Bucknell will face off for the title at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday at Lejeune Hall.Sunday’s Schedule
GM15 - 9:00 a.m. - (11) Salem International vs. (12) Penn State Behrend - 11th Place
16 - 10:20 a.m. - (9) Notre Dame College vs. (10) Monmouth College - 9th Place
17 - 11:40 a.m. - (7) Washington & Jefferson vs. (8) Gannon - 7th Place
18 - 1:00 p.m. - (4) Johns Hopkins vs. (6) George Washington - 5th Place
19 - 2:20 p.m. - (1) Princeton vs. (3) Mercyhurst - 3rd Place
20 - 3:40 p.m. - (2) Bucknell vs. (5) Navy - Championship