Water Polo Returns Home for Three Conference Matches
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy water polo team (5-5) returns home to Annapolis for three Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference matches this weekend. The Midshipmen host No. 18 George Washington (noon) and Fordham (7:00 p.m.) on Saturday before closing out the weekend against No. 17 Bucknell (11:00 a.m.) on Sunday. All games will be played at Scott Natatorium. Sunday's game with Bucknell will be live streamed HERE.
Navy enters the weekend with a 5-5 overall record. The Mids began the season 5-2 at the Navy Open before dropping three consecutive matches at the Princeton Invitational. The Midshipmen are 0-1 in league play, being edged 11-10 by Wagner. This weekend will be the first conference weekend of the season for George Washington (6-4), Fordham (4-3), and Bucknell (4-6).
Navy leads the all-time series with GW, 52-6, while holding a 24-2 advantage over Fordham. The Mids are 84-20 all-time against Bucknell.
Offensively, the Midshipmen have been balanced with 25 of 26 position players netting goals. As a team, Navy has tallied 119 goals in its 10 games for nearly 12 goals/game.
Freshman Andrew Shashin (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) leads the Midshipmen with 10 goals scored, followed by senior captain Matt Skowronski (Oak Hill, Va.), senior Jared Castillo (League City, Texas), sophomores Trevor Clark (San Marcos, Calif.) and Nate Reiff (Wheeling, Ill.), and freshmen Bobby Lee (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Crawford Smith (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) who each have nine goals piece.
Junior Taylor Bernhardt (Annapolis, Md.) paces the team with seven assists on the season. Twenty-five different players on the team have chipped in at least one helper on the year, including 19 with multiple assists. Bernhardt has also led the way defensively with a team-high 16 steals.
The Midshipmen have platooned a trio of goalies -- junior Francis Kim (Houston, Texas) and sophomores Ronan Williams (Severna Park, Md.) and Brandon Shields (Lake Forest, Calif.). Williams leads the team with 63 saves, while Kim (26) and Shields (19) have combined for 45 stops.
Scouting the Opposition:
George Washington, ranked No. 18 according to the Collegiate Water Polo Association, 6-4 overall. The Colonials swept three games at the Navy Open before going 1-3 at the Princeton Invitational. Last weekend, GW finished 2-1 at the Bison Invitational to move above .500.
Fordham is 4-3 on the season. The Rams also took part in the 2017 Navy Open, going 3-1 during the two-day tournament. Two weekends ago, Fordham competed in the Princeton Invitational, going 1-2 on the weekend. The Rams will play at Johns Hopkins on Saturday morning before facing Navy on Saturday evening.
Bucknell travels to Annapolis ranked No. 17 and 4-6 overall. All six losses have come against ranked opponents. The Bison opened the year at the Bruno Classic in Providence, R.I., finishing the event 1-3. The following weekend, Bucknell finished the Princeton open 0-3, but swept three games at the Bison Invitational. The Bison will play at Johns Hopkins and at George Washington on Saturday prior to facing off against Navy on Sunday morning.