Water Polo Edged 9-8 by Wagner in MAWPC Tournament
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy water polo team (8-16) was edged 9-8 to Wagner (13-16) in the first round of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championship tournament on Friday at Lejeune Hall. The Mids trailed 3-0 early, but battled back to pull to within one on five occasions, but were unable to overcome the early deficit.
"This was a hard-fought game and I expected no less," head coach Mladen Stanicic said after the game. "That was a usual No. 4 seed and No. 5 seed matchup, almost always close and hard fought games."
Navy was led by Nik Galvan (Norcross, Ga.) and Bobby Lee (Santa Ana, Calif.) who both netted a pair of goals in the game. The duo was joined by Crawford Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Kevin Volkov (Freehold, N.J.), Shepherd Warren (Baltimore, Md.), and Tyler Zimmerman (McLean, Va.) who each scored goals in the game.
Francis Kim (Houston, Texas) worked a complete game between the posts at goal. The junior tallied 11 saves in the game to keep the Midshipmen close throughout the game.
In the first quarter, Wagner opened up a 3-1 lead, starting the game with three straight goals before Navy was able to find the back of the net. The Seahawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 6:33 to play in the first quarter. Back-to-back goals by Jasmin Kolasinac gave the Seahawks a three-goal advantage at the 1:19 mark. Galvan put the Mids on the scoreboard with a goal on a penalty shot to trim the margin to 3-1. The Midshipmen were aggressive in the first quarter but were unable to capitalize as the Seahawks goalie made two stops and the three Mids' shots hit the post.
The Seahawks used two quick goals in the first two minutes of the second quarter to increase their advantage to 5-1. Zimmerman ended the run with a goal with 3:12 to play in the half to cut the margin to three. With just over two minutes to play in the second quarter, B. Lee took a pass from Taylor Bernhardt (Annapolis, Md.) and buried it in the top right corner of the net to trim the deficit to 5-3. Forty seconds later Galvan slid a ball past the keeper for his second goal of the game, pulling Navy to within one, 5-4.
In the third quarter, Wagner used a goal by Jack Leighton, his second of the game, to extend the lead back to two. Navy responded with a penalty-shot goal by Volkov to pull to back to within one, 6-5. After a Seahawk goal, Warren floated a ball over the keeper's head for the score to make it 7-6. Wagner responded just before the end of the third with a goal to take an 8-6 advantage into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the Mids used a goal by B. Lee to close the gap to 8-7 with 5:37 remaining in the game. The Seahawks' Teo Dadic netted his third goal of the game to put the No. 4 seed in front 9-7 with 4:27 to play. Smith found the back of the net with 3:51 remaining to cut the margin to one. The two teams played strong defense for the final four minutes with neither team able to score and Wagner claiming the 9-8 victory.
Navy will look to rebound as they play Mercyhurst in the second round of the MAWCP Championship tournament at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Lejeune Hall. The Lakers fell to top-seeded Bucknell, 15-4, in the first game of the tournament.