A balanced offensive attack and help from a large, vocal crowd during its first home game of the season, helped the GW men’s water polo team defeat the University of Richmond 15-7 Wednesday night.
The eight-goal margin of victory was a substantial improvement over GW’s three wins over Richmond earlier in the season, in which the Colonials won by two goals or less.
The difference between this game and the three previous wins was GW’s ability to figure out the Richmond defense and capitalize on its weaknesses, junior driver Rush Taylor said.
“We finally figured out their style of play,” said Taylor, who had four goals Wednesday. “Once we knew where their faults were, we took advantage and started scoring.”
The beginning of the match saw both teams exchange goals, but the Colonials pulled away in the second half as they stepped up their defensive intensity. Goalie Tony Paster and driver Jeremy Yamamoto were solid defensively. Paster allowed only one goal in the second half.
“Tony came through big time for us,” sophomore Brad Oliver said. “He stopped many shots and allowed us to open it up on the offensive end.”
The players attributed much of GW’s intensity to playing at home.
“It was good to have a home crowd because we have had some tough road games recently,” Taylor said. “We’ve had games this season where there has been no one in the stands and we really like to hear our fans cheer as loud as they did (Wednesday).”
With a season record of 8-3 and 2-1 in Collegiate Water Polo Association play, the Colonials are in good shape for the postseason. This weekend GW has four CWPA games at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., that will determine their postseason fate. The Colonials will face Bucknell, Salem-Teikyo, Princeton and Slippery Rock universities Saturday and Sunday.
“We hope to perform well enough to get us a good seed going into the Southern Conference Championship,” junior two-meter Doug Maitz said.