Navy Water Polo To Begin Defense of Southern Division Tournament Title
Nov. 1, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 14th-ranked Navy water polo team begins defense of its Southern Division Tournament title on Friday when it travels to Lewisburg, Pa., and Bucknell University for the 2012 CWPA Southern Division Tournament. The Mids will begin as the top seed facing eighth-seeded Gannon at 5:45 PM.
Navy enters the tournament with a sterling 21-2 record and earned the tournament's top seed with a 7-1 league mark, two games clear of second-place Princeton. The Midshipmen's only loss during league play came to Johns Hopkins, 14-13, on Oct. 10, a loss they would avenge last weekend in a 12-5 rout. Navy enters the weekend having won five games in a row and nine of its last 10.
The story of the season has been the remarkable efficiency of the Navy offense. The Mids are outscoring opponents, 410 to 200, an average of 17.8 to 8.7 goals per game. Just once this year has Navy been held to 10 goals or less, coming in a 15-7 setback to No. 9-ranked Long Beach State on Sept. 27. The Midshipmen have scored at least 20 goals seven times this season.
The Navy defense has also been stout, allowing just six foes to reach 13 goals in a contest, with the 49ers scoring a season-best 15 goals against the Navy defense. Eight times this year, the Navy defense has held opponents to six or fewer goals.
As has been the case all year, the Navy offense sports a balanced attack, paced by senior Paul Pedrotty. Pedrotty is one of the nation's top scorers, tallying 115 points on 74 goals and 41 assists. His 115 points rank fourth on the Navy single-season points list and he needs just nine points to move past Top Popp (1988) into second place. His 41 assists are tied for the fifth most in school history, while his 74 goals rank just outside the top 10. Meanwhile, he has scored 222 career points to rank 16th on the school's career points list.
But Pedrotty is not the only potent scorer on the squad as senior Erich Schwamb has scored 73 points on 37 goals and 36 assists. His 36 assists sit just outside the top 10 single-season helper list at Navy. In addition, Jesse Walker (32-16=48), Archie Warren (21-25=46), Thomas Patterson (29-13=42) and Cort Jones (22-18=40) have all surpassed the 40-point barrier.
Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Barker leads Navy with 84 saves, while senior Anthony Gutierrez has made 74 saves against 48 goals allowed for a .607 save percentage. Pedrotty leads the team in steals with 41.
Navy has dominated the CWPA Southern Division Tournament over the years, winning 13 titles in 19 previous tournaments, including during the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011 campaigns. The Midshipmen boast a 58-6 (.906) record in the tournament and have finished lower than second just once (third in 2010). Navy has lost to just two opponents, Princeton and Bucknell, during the tournament and have won five straight tournament games entering this year's competition.
A Navy win against Gannon would move the Mids into the semifinals against the winner of a bracket consisting of Bucknell, George Washington and Washington & Jefferson. The semifinal winners' round begins at 4:15 PM on Saturday. The finals will be contested on Sunday, beginning at 2:00 PM
# GO NAVY #