Nov. 16, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. -- No. 12-ranked St. Francis (N.Y.) outscored the 17th-ranked Navy water polo team, 6-1, in the fourth quarter to cap off a stunning rally and defeat the Midshipmen, 14-10, in the CWPA Eastern Quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.
The loss sends Navy to the consolation bracket and ends the Midshipmen's hopes of reaching their first NCAA Tournament since 2008. Navy, which had appeared in a league record-tying seven straight championship games, falls to 22-5. After starting the year 22-2, Navy enters tomorrow's consolation game against MIT having dropped three straight games for the first time since October 2009.
"You have to give credit to St. Francis. They played really well in the second half and took advantage of our mistakes," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We thought if we could get on them early that our depth and numbers would work advantage, but that obviously wasn't the case. We played really well in the first half but missed some crucial opportunities that would have given us a bigger lead. We just did a really poor job guarding their centers and got shredded in the middle of the pool and that was the difference."
Navy dominated the first 16 minutes of play to grab a 5-3 lead after one quarter and a 7-4 advantage at halftime. After the Terriers scored twice in the first three minutes of the 2nd half, Paul Pedrotty upped the lead to two again at 8-6 with 3:28 to play in the third quarter.
Navy would still lead at 9-7 late in the quarter, but a late ejection and subsequent St. Francis goal cut the margin to one after three quarters at 9-8.
St. Francis quickly erased Navy's lead with four goals in the first 3:17 of the fourth quarter to take a 12-9 advantage with 4:43 to play. Pedrotty would cut the lead to 13-10 on another tally, but the Terriers capped off their comeback on a goal with 2:46 to play to cement the final margin.
Navy would finish just 4-of-14 on extra-man chances, while St. Francis was 7-of-18.
Pedrotty led Navy with four goals while Archie Warren and Erich Schwamb would net three and two, respectively. Antony Gutierrez stopped 11 shots in goal for the Midshipmen.
"I'm just really disappointed for the guys. They were a joy to be around. We deserved better, but we needed to go out and take it and not expect it to fall into our laps. We did not do that," added Schofield. "We will bounce back tomorrow and Sunday. I am not worried about that. We just need to do a better job of adjusting."
Navy will face MIT tomorrow at 3:00 PM.
# GO NAVY #