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Water polo sweeps at Princeton Invitational in overwhelming offensive display

File Photo by Niamh McCann | Photographer
Head Coach Barry King said the team struggled to turn to new leaders after losing several veterans in 2019.

Water polo extended its winning streak to six this weekend after sweeping the competition at the Princeton Invitational and capturing three conference awards this Tuesday.

The Colonials ousted Cal Lutheran, St. Francis Brooklyn and Iona in a dominant there-day stretch when they outscored their opponents by a margin of 41–30. In an overwhelming series of honors, graduate student center Theodoros Pateros was named Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Player of the Week for the second straight time, junior goalkeeper Luca Castorina earned Defensive Player of the Week and graduate student utility player Mateus Stellet became Rookie of the Week for their roles in GW’s recent success.

In the three games, the Colonials topped Cal Lutheran 12–8, beat St. Francis Brooklyn after a 14–13 shootout and dominated Iona by a score of 15–9. Pateros led the charge for GW by scoring 15 goals for the second weekend in a row, this time over the course of three games instead of four in Annapolis last week.

The Colonials have maintained a powerful offense through the season with a 6–1 record as they seek to win their third consecutive MAWPC Championship.

Here is a recap of the Princeton Invitational:

Game 1:
The Colonials began their victorious weekend against one of the better Division III teams in the nation in the No. 3 Cal Lutheran Kingsmen in a 12–8 shootout on Friday.

The match started with an early tie with three goals apiece by the middle of the second quarter. The Colonials netted five straight goals from there, which put them on top 7–4 in their first lead of the afternoon heading into the break. Pateros led the team with six goals, allowing the Colonials to maintain the upper-hand in the pool.

Castorina also played an integral role in the Colonial’s defense, notching a season-high 20 saves and keeping the Kingsmen at bay through the second half while GW hung on to its three-goal lead.

The Kingsmen tried to strike back at the Colonials with four more goals but were unable to keep up with the GW offensive lineup, which netted three more before the end of the fourth quarter to solidify the first win of the weekend.

Game 2:
GW continued into Game 2 with their first ranked win of the year in a thriller over the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers Saturday. The game went into overtime before GW broke a tie and scored two goals to grab the victory.

Both teams went back and forth in scoring, staying within two points of each other for the majority of the game. The Colonials reached an 8–6 lead before the Terriers evened the score heading into halftime.

Senior utility player Antonin Kralj tied the game for GW at nine with just nine seconds remaining in the fourth quarter in his career-high fifth goal of the game.

The back-and-forth exchange of goals continued into overtime, but Pateros would not let up for the GW team. He scored four goals, edging GW to a 13–12 lead as time expired, marking his fifth consecutive game with at least four goals.

Kralj assured the victory for the Colonials with a final goal during overtime that settled the match.

Game 3:
The Colonials beat the Iona Gaels 15–9, finishing the weekend with their sixth straight win.

GW trailed 4–3 in the final minutes of the second quarter when Pateros scored back-to-back goals to send the Colonials into the break, up 5–4. GW pulled a 10-goal run in the third quarter that secured the weekend sweep.

In the fourth quarter, Iona hit a 10–8 run that challenged the Colonials, but GW scored five goals within five minutes that crowned them the winners of the weekend.

The Colonials will head to the Collegiate Water Polo Association Crossover Weekend Tournament Saturday. Tipoff is set for 9 a.m.

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