Water polo wins at Navy

By Scott Padula

Staff Writer

The Orange and Blue started their 2011 campaign with four wins this weekend at Annapolis. The Bison opened the tournament by defeating Gannon 21-6 and Lindenwood 17-1 and then, in the most highly-anticipated game of the weekend, upsetting No. 11 St. Francis 16-10. The win snapped a 22-game losing streak to the Terriers. First-year coach John McBride follows John Zeigler as the first coach to begin his tenure with two consecutive victories. Zeigler last did so in 1992.

The Orange and Blue ended the weekend with a 14-6 win over Cerritos.

“Our team has the ability to score goals and make plays all over the pool,” Alex Nowlin ’14 said. “Much differently than in the past, I believe that this year you will see more players contributing the same amount of points and the other teammates close behind. Opponents will no longer be able to just focus on stopping one or two players because there are no individuals on our team this year. Focus on one starter and the players they forgot about will put on a showcase.”

In the first game of the weekend, 10 different Bison accounted for the 21 goals scored and assisted on 20 of these 21 goals. Nowlin led the charge with four goals and four assists, while Brian Barron ’13 scored four goals and Trevor Reitz ’14 dished out five assists. On the defensive end, the 14 Bison collectively tallied 23 steals.

The Bison also played an exhibition game against Lindenwood on Saturday evening and came away with a 17-1 victory over the club team.

The Bison started the game against St. Francis strong, taking an 8-4 advantage into the intermission and never looked back. The team converted on four of seven six-on-five situations, compared to four of 11 for the Terriers. Matt Napleton ’13 stabilized the defense with a career-high nine saves. Nowlin and Barron added to their impressive weekends, recording eight and seven points respectively.

“Everyone on the team is on the same page with our offense and defense, and it is producing great results,” Spencer Richley ’12 said. “After a tough preseason, we were anxious to start playing games to prove that we are the team to beat this year. I think this past weekend sends a message to other teams that we are a force to be reckoned with, despite losing some high-scoring graduates this past year. We are excited to play more games, continue to improve, and achieve our end goal of winning an Eastern Championship.”

The Orange and the Blue will continue to work towards this goal as they square off against several club teams including the highly touted New York Athletic Club this weekend in the Bison Invitational.

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