Sept. 13, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 15th-ranked Navy water polo team returns to action this weekend when it hosts the eight-team Navy Invitational at Macdonough Hall's Scott Natatorium, beginning on Friday and running through Saturday.
The Midshipmen, owners of a 4-0 mark and ranked a unanimous second in the CWPA Eastern top 10 behind Princeton, will play six games this weekend. Navy hosts Notre Dame College (Ohio) on Friday at 5:00 PM, then take on Connecticut College (12:45 PM), University of Toronto (4:30 PM), Penn State Behrend (5:45 PM) and Fordham (7:00 PM) on Saturday. Navy closes out the weekend by battling Washington & Jefferson on Sunday at 2:15 PM.
"The main objective this weekend is to try to get ourselves ready for the two league games next weekend. They are the two biggest games on our schedule to date," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We hope to get a lot of guys a lot of work and hopefully this weekend will reinforce our top-line guys and make sure we are ready to go for league play. We are going to get challenged some this weekend, so it will be interesting to see how we react."
Navy hasn't played since the Navy Labor Day Open on Sept. 1-2, when it won four games by a combined margin of 87-35. The Midshipmen showed strong offensive depth during the weekend, something that pleases Schofield.
"We have had some days where our fourth string has beaten our No. 1s. I think it speaks well for what we are doing and the depth we have," added Schofield. `We have some guys that would like to be knocking on door for more playing time, so this will be a good competitive environment to get some guys to work. There is not a huge spread between our players, showing our balance and depth."
Leading the Navy offense is senior Paul Pedrotty, who was named the CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week for his role in the Navy Labor Day Open. He tallied 19 points (14 g, 5 a) and scored at least four goals in three of the four games played. He needs just six goals for 100 in his career and leads Navy's current active players with 126 points (94 g, 32 a).
He is joined in double figures by senior Erich Schwamb
(5-6=11), junior Sean McDonald
(6-4=10) and sophomore Jack Finch
(4-6=10). Seven other players have scored at least six points on the year for the Midshipmen, who are averaging 21.8 goals per game and have scored at least 18 in every game this year.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Anthony Gutierrez leads a unit that allows foes to average just 8.8 goals per game. Gutierrez has played in three games, making 11 saves against 10 goals allowed for a .524 save percentage. Gutierrez has 388 career saves to rank eighth on the career saves list.
Sophomore Tyler Barker and freshman Caleb Lintz have also seen extensive time in goal, each playing three games and making 12 and eight saves, respectively.
Navy will remain home the next weekend when it opens CWPA Southern Division league play with a pair of Saturday (Sept. 22) games against Bucknell (2:00 PM) and Princeton (7:30 PM). The contests will be played at Scott Natatorium and admission for all Navy water polo games are free.
# GO NAVY #