Navy Defeats Mercyhurst in MAWPC Second Round Game
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Navy water polo team used a strong showing by its power play and bench units to come from behind on Saturday afternoon and defeat Mercyhurst, 12-8 in a second round game as part of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference tournament. Down 4-0 after one quarter, the Mids (8-17) tied up the game in the second period with three man-up goals before pulling away from the Lakers (13-13) in the fourth quarter. David Huber (Sr., Fort Washington, Pa.) led the Mids’ offensive effort with five goals.
“Our bench was the difference today,” remarked Navy head coach Mladen Stanicic. “They provided a spark that we needed to overcome a slow start. We really started seeing a difference in the second quarter.”
The action at Bucknell’s Kinney Natatorium began with a heavy Mercyhurst feel as the seventh-seeded Lakers jumped out to 4-0 lead over the sixth-seeded Midshipmen in the first quarter.
A quick power play conversion by Brendan Metcalf (Sr., Frisco, Texas) 41 seconds into the second period got Navy onto the scoreboard. After a Mercyhurst goal at 5:30 to make it 5-1, Navy closed out the rest of the stanza with a four-goal unanswered run. Man-up scores by Nik Galvan (Fr., Henderson, Nev.) and Jared Castillo (Jr., League City, Texas) highlighted the span of play, while Huber netted two even-strength goals.
Coming out of the halftime break with the game tied at 5-5, the third quarter saw some back-and-forth action as the teams traded goals over the first 2:30 of play. Metcalf opened the scoring at 7:30 before the Lakers answered right back at 7:16. On the next possession for the Mids, Taylor Peterson (Sr., Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) ripped a shot from the right wing for a power play goal at 6:47. Mercyhurst tied the matchup for the final time at 7-7 at the 5:30 mark. Huber scored the go-ahead goal for Navy at 4:20 on a five-meter penalty shot.
Up 8-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Mids put some distance between themselves and the Lakers over the final eight minutes of play with a 4-1 advantage in the scoring column. Goals by Jack Robinson (Jr., Riverside, Conn.) and Patrick Carmody (Sr., Fogelsville, Pa.) put Navy up 10-7 by the 6:12 mark. Following a Mercyhurst goal at 4:57, Huber scored twice more over the final 4:40 to cap his day with five goals. Huber’s last goal was on the power play off of a Metcalf pass over the top. That score was Navy’s fifth in the 6-on-5 situation. The game went final at 12-8.
“Our time here isn’t down and we’ll now need to re-focus quickly and prepare for Wagner tomorrow morning,” said Stanicic.
Navy will conclude its action at the MAWPC Championship Tournament with a fifth place game versus Wagner on Sunday morning beginning at 10:30 a.m.