The GW men’s water polo team will make history this Saturday. After a 1-2 weekend at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Championships at Princeton last weekend, the team will participate in the Eastern Championships for the first time in school history.
Led by first-year head coach Van Hoffman, the team will begin competition at 9 a.m. Saturday in Annapolis against Queens College.
“We have a game plan and we know what to do and not to do,” Hoffman said. The Colonials split the two games they played against Queens this year. Nevertheless, Hoffman said she remains optimistic for the Eastern Championship.
“We have a great chance to go to the NCAA Championship,” Hoffman said. GW must win three consecutive games to advance to the NCAA Championship, held in December at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
If GW defeats Queens, it will go on to play two other teams not yet determined.
“We’ll take it one game at a time,” Hoffman said.
Entering last weekend’s tournament in third place in the Southern Division, the Colonials defeated Villanova by a single point, 9-8, allowing them to advance and continue the season. However, the same weekend they suffered two more losses. GW fell to Navy 14-10 and Slippery Rock 11-6.
“We just returned from California and the Baldy View Tournament (Oct 18-19) and I didn’t give them a day off. They were just tired. Losses like Slippery Rock won’t happen again this weekend,” Hoffman said.
Ending the 1997 season with an 18-8 overall record, the team stands fourth in the Southern division. Senior Brent Stoll led the team this year with 72 points. He was followed closely by fellow senior Brandon Stout’s 62 points. Goalkeeper Tony Pasteur finished with 204 blocks.
“I’ve shortened practices this week, and the goal is to make them so hungry to play (Saturday) that they’ll go bonkers,” Hoffman said.