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Men’s water polo team falls at home to Navy

Junior Nate Little maneuvers around his Navy opponent to make a pass to an open Colonial during Wednesday’s match against the Midshipmen. Francis Rivera | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Josh Soloman.

The men’s water polo team hosted No. 12 Navy Wednesday night, playing before a packed crowd in the natatorium. But GW went down 4-0 in the first quarter and could never recover despite a strong rebound later in the game. The Colonials ultimately dropped the game 14-8 to their Southern Division rivals.

“We didn’t start as we planned to,” graduate student Milos Purkovic said. “We kind of slept through the first quarter, and you know when we woke up later, it was a little too late.”

GW lacked a strong offensive presence throughout the game, faced with a Navy squad that barely slipped up, extending their tough defense throughout most of the game.

Head coach Scott Reed said the Midshipmen’s offensive explosion was hard for the Colonials to contend with, especially in the face of their own struggles on the attack.

“Navy is a team that likes to put a lot of points on the board and there were a few series that we kept them in check but when we can’t put the ball in the net ourselves it just becomes a little too much for the defense to overcome,” Reed said.

The third quarter, starting with GW trailing by five, saw the team mount its best comeback attempt. A few turnovers by each team lead to fast breaks for the opposition, but senior goalie Cameron Illes posted several big saves in the quarter, bringing the GW faithful to their feet.

Purkovic, who scored three on the night, scored the first goal of the quarter to bring it to 7-3. And then, with less than three minutes to play in the quarter he took a lob shot to keep it within four, 8-4 as the natatorium roared. The rally continued with a little over a minute to play in the third as freshman Bogdan Petokvik scored a behind the back goal to bring the Colonials as close as they would come to catching Navy with the score at 8-5.

But the fourth quarter saw two minutes of furious play from Navy, as GW found itself quickly down 12-5 with six minutes to play in the game, ultimately leading to its 14-8 eventual defeat as bench players filled the pool at the end of the game. Southern Division player of the week Daniel Tyner was disappointed with the Colonials’ performance, and said his own game wasn’t his best, despite scoring a goal and tallying four steals.

“Personally I don’t think I played at my best ability and I think kind of everyone had an off game,” Tyner said. “I took some shots I probably shouldn’t have, but I was frustrated and trying to get back in the game.”

Reed agreed with Tyner’s sentiments, pointing to the team’s recent performances as examples of its true strength. He expects the Colonials to rebound with a better performance against Bucknell Sunday.

“Well the expectation is we win, that is all there is to it,” Reed said. “The way we played the last six or seven games or so, if we played 95 percent of what we did, this was a game we should have very easily won.”

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