Nov. 16, 2011
Live Video ($10 / $25) | Championship Info
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 15th-ranked Navy water polo team will begin its quest for its 10th CWPA Eastern title on Friday when it battles the host school, Harvard, in the quarterfinals at 2:30 pm. The Mids enter the weekend with a 22-6 overall record and are the South Division's No. 1 seed after winning the Southern title two weeks ago.
Every contest of the tournament will be streamed online (link on NavySports.com) for $10 a game or $25 for the whole tournament.
Navy is looking for its 10th Eastern title in school history, but its first since the 2008 season. It won't be easy for the Mids as three other teams are ranked in the CWPA National Top 20 poll. St. Francis (N.Y.) follows Navy at No. 16 in the polls, Brown is ranked 18th and Princeton is ranked 19th. Bucknell, meanwhile, is among others receiving votes.
Navy could face either Brown or Bucknell in the semifinals and would likely see St. Francis (N.Y.) or Princeton in the finals on Sunday.
The Mids won the season series with Bucknell, 2-1, defeating the Bison in the CWPA Southern Semifinals, 11-5. Princeton won the season series with Navy, 2-1, but Navy earned revenge on the Tigers with an impressive 10-5 victory in the CWPA Southern Division Finals. Navy also beat St. Francis (N.Y.) in the team's only meeting this year, 9-8, in overtime in the Navy Labor Day Open.
Navy has not faced Brown this year. The Midshipmen are 8-0 this year in neutral-site games, and are 15-3 against Eastern teams.
Navy is coming off a dominating performance in the CWPA Southern Division Tournament, winning its 13th Southern crown in 19 years. The Mids outscored their opponents, 56-21, and held each of their last three foes to five or fewer goals.
Leading the way offensively is senior Kyle Wertz, who paces the squad with 69 points in just 17 games. He has moved into the school's top 10 in career scoring, ranking 10th with 241 points. Junior Paul Pedrotty follows with 66 points on a team-high 51 goals while adding 15 assists.
In all, seven players have scored more than 25 points this year, and of the seven, five have more than 40 points.
Anthony Gutierrez leads Navy in goal with 162 saves against 156 goals allowed for a .509 save percentage. His 362 career saves are the ninth most in school history and he needs just two more saves to tie Nick Hill on the list for eighth.
Navy has already won the most CWPA Eastern titles to date and is trying to become the first school to win double-figure Eastern crowns, winning titles in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Midshipmen enter the tournament with an all-time mark of 64-23 (.736) and have finished third or better in 23 of the 29 previous tournaments.
The Midshipmen are also trying to become just the second program to reach seven straight CWPA Eastern Finals as it owns a 3-3 mark in six consecutive trips to the finals. Brown (1981-87) also reached the Eastern Finals in seven straight seasons. Overall, Navy has reached the finals in seven of the last eight seasons (2002-03, 2005-10).
The winner of the CWPA Eastern Tournament receives a spot in the four-team NCAA Tournament on Dec. 3-4, in Berkeley, Calif.
# GO NAVY #