Oct. 12, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The No. 14-ranked Navy water polo team faces rivals Princeton and Bucknell on Saturday at two different locations in what will be pivotal contests in the race for the CWPA Southern Division crown. The Midshipmen will take on 16th-ranked Princeton on Saturday at noon in Princeton, N.J., then head west to battle Bucknell at 7:30 PM on Saturday night.
The Midshipmen enter their roadtrip with a 17-2 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the CWPA Southern Division. This weekend's games will go a long ways in determining the top seed for the CWPA Southern Division Tournament on Nov. 2-4 in Lewisburg, Pa.
The Midshipmen are coming off a 1-1 split against Johns Hopkins and George Washington on Wednesday night. The Midshipmen fell to Johns Hopkins, 14-13, before topping George Washington in the nightcap, 14-8. The loss to Johns Hopkins created a logjam at the top of the CWPA Southern Division standings as Johns Hopkins, Princeton and Navy are all tied with 3-1 marks. Princeton will also host Johns Hopkins on Saturday night.
The Midshipmen have had a dominating offensive season, outscoring opponents 345-164, an average of 18.2 to 8.6 goals per game. Just once this year, against ninth-ranked Long Beach State, have the Midshipmen been held to single-digit goals (7). Navy has allowed just six-of-19 opponents to score double-figure goals. However, it has happened in five of the last eight games that Navy has played.
Navy senior Paul Pedrotty continues to pace the Midshipmen with team highs in goals (65) and points (93) while ranking second in assists (28). He has scored a goal in 33 straight games that he has played in dating back to last year. He needs just seven points to become the 12th player in school history to record 100 points in a season and against George Washington, became the 17th player in school history to reach 200 points, now sitting right at 200. Since the start of last year, Pedrotty has scored 171 points (123 goals, 48 assists).
Pedrotty, however, is not the only offensive weapon for the Midshipmen, which boasts an extremely-balanced attack. Senior Erich Schwamb
has contributed 59 points on 28 goals and a team-best 31 assists, while Jesse Walker
(41), Archie Warren
(39), Thomas Patterson
(33), Cort Jones
(31), Sean McDonald
(30), Jack Finch
(29) and Tyler Thein
(27) have all surpassed 25 points on the season. The last time Navy had nine 25-point scorers in a season was during the 1990 campaign.
Senior Anthony Gutierrez and sophomore Tyler Barker have seen about identical time in goal. Barker leads the team with 67 saves against 73 goals allowed for a .479 save percentage, while Gutierrez has 62 saves against 38 goals allowed for a .620 save percentage. Gutierrez has 439 career saves to rank eighth on the career saves list, needing 11 stops to tie Ken Johansen (1985-88) for seventh on the list.
Princeton enters the weekend with a 9-8 overall record and a 3-1 mark in league play. Bucknell is 6-9 overall and 0-4 in the league standings.
Navy leads the series with Princeton by a 54-24 margin, but is just 4-5 against the Tigers in the last nine meetings. Navy did win the previous meeting this year by a 13-10 margin. Navy owns a 76-13 series lead over Bucknell with three straight wins over the Bison, including an 11-6 victory earlier this year.
Navy will be off next weekend before hosting George Washington and Johns Hopkins in the regular-season finales on Oct. 27 in Scott Natatorium.
# GO NAVY #