Nov. 10, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy water polo team came from behind to defeat Bucknell and earn the 2013 CWPA Southern Division Championship on Sunday afternoon in Annapolis. Down at the half 6-3, the Mids launched an emphatic 5-0 third quarter run to gain the momentum and eventual win in front of an electric crowd at Lejeune Hall.
Carpenter Warren (So., Baltimore, Md.) led Navy with a team-high five points on four goals and an assist. Fellow sophomores Carl Dowzicky (Collegeville, Pa.) and Will Weggeland (Riverside, Calif.) joined Warren with multiple goals, as they each scored two.
In goal, Garrett Sabesky (Lakeside, Calif.) registered his third straight double-digit save performance as the sophomore turned aside 11 Bucknell shots in the title game.
Coming into the contest with an 0-2 mark versus Bucknell in 2013, Navy knew that the earlier struggles that it suffered through during conference play were in the past as the Mids were undefeated in their last seven games before Sunday.
The second-seeded Bison and fifth-seeded Mids played an even opening period as each team netted two goals with Warren scoring both of Navy’s markers.
After Dowzicky gave Navy a 3-2 lead 56 seconds into the second quarter, Bucknell broke open the game with a four-goal unanswered streak. The teams would go into the halftime intermission with the Bison holding a 6-3 advantage.
The Mids regrouped during the break and came out on a mission with two quick goals over the first 3:42. Thomas Patterson (Jr., Orange, Calif.) and Warren scored for Navy during this run. With the large, Navy-heavy crowd at Lejeune Hall sensing a comeback, the Mids continued their hot streak with goals on back-to-back possessions by Weggeland and Dowzicky at 2:34 and 2:00. Warren netted the team’s fifth straight goal with 16 seconds remaining in the period.
With Navy now in possession of an 8-6 lead, Bucknell fought back with a pair of goals over the first 2:41 of the fourth quarter to tie the game.
The Mids bent, but didn’t break as they responded on the next possession with the game-winning goal by Weggeland. That score would hold up over a nail-biting final 4:59 of action.
With the clock showing all zeros, the Navy bench and crowd erupted as the Midshipmen had come back to win the CWPA Southern Division Championship for the 14th time in program history.
“I always knew that we had it in us to play and succeed at this level,” said Navy head coach Mladen Stanicic. “It took awhile for us to put it all together, but we had faith in our abilities and it was worth the wait. It feels great to win this title and to move onto the CWPA Championship.”
“It really was a great team effort today and throughout the tournament, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize our goalie Garrett Sabesky, who had a wonderful run in net,” said Stanicic. “An under-the-radar player who came off the bench today and did a great job matching up and being physical with Bucknell’s centers was freshman Evan Staresinic. Kudos to Evan.”
The Mids (17-14) will now turn their attention to the CWPA Championship tournament that will be hosted by Brown University in Providence, R.I. Navy will take its eight-game winning streak into action beginning on Friday, Nov. 22.