Water polo finishes third

By Scott Padula

Writer

The Bison finished third at the Southern Championships this weekend in Princeton, N.J.  The Orange and Blue beat Mercyhurst 18-9 before defeating Penn State Behrend 14-1. In the semifinals, the Bison lost to their rival Navy, 11-5. To wrap up the tournament, the Orange and Blue beat Johns Hopkins 10-7.

In the first game of the weekend, the Bison squared off with Mercyhurst. The Orange and Blue jumped out to an early lead, taking a 9-6 lead into intermission. In the third quarter, the Bison sealed the 18-9 victory by shutting out their opponent while scoring seven goals of their own. Brian Barron ’13 led the Bison in scoring with four goals in his first action since mid-October. Julian Colina ’14 recorded a team-high seven points with three goals and four assists. Spencer Richley ’12 and Nick Barnett ’12 also had significant contributions with three assists and three goals respectively. In goal, Matt Napleton ’13 registered six saves in 24 minutes of play.

In their game Saturday afternoon, the Orange and the Blue faced Penn State Behrend. The Bison started the game strong, taking an 8-0 advantage into the half and never looked back. They went on to win the game 14-1. The win was in large part thanks to Keegan Williams ’15 who recorded eight saves in 32 minutes of play. Greg Norton ’15 led all Bison with four points, while Barnett recorded three assists and Beau Caillouette ’12 registered two goals.

In their final game Saturday, the Orange and Blue lost to the Naval Academy 11-5. The Bison could not get anything started on offense, falling behind 5-1 after the intermission. The Orange and Blue were unable to mount a comeback, as they fell to No. 16 Navy for the second time this season. Napleton stopped 14 shots while allowing 11 goals in 32 minutes. Jack Else ’14 and Caillouette led the Bison with two goals and two assists, respectively.

“Our game against Navy was beneficial in the sense that we know what we need to work on against them. Their 6-on-5 defense, called the “nickel,” is one that is characteristic of their team and has been for as long as I can remember. It allows them to quickly counter-attack and score, and we got beat on it too many times. I think that overall, we needed to come out with more intensity in that game. We played too hesitantly, and Navy came out gunning for us,” Richley said.

In the final game of the tournament, the Orange and Blue saw Johns Hopkins in the third-place game. The Bison scored three goals in both the first two quarters before going onto a 10-7 victory. Alex Nowlin ’14 registered four points with three assists and a goal. Else had a notable performance with four goals, and co-captain Richley led the team with three goals.

“This was a disappointing Southern Championships for us, but it should help us learn some lessons that can help us win Easterns. Against Navy in the Semis, we came out flat and could not get anything going on offense, which gives the opponent momentum on their counter-attack. We need to start our games with more intensity so we’re not putting ourselves in a hole. Tighter defense and execution on the offensive end are what we will focus on in order to bring home an Eastern Championship,” Napleton said.

The Orange and Blue are idle this weekend as they prepare for the Eastern Championships next weekend in Cambridge, Mass.

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