The GW men’s water polo team showed its inexperience this weekend, losing both games at the CWPA League Tournament in Lewisburg, Pa. Saturday. The Colonials fell to No. 17 Princeton University 23-11 after losing to rival Bucknell University 12-8 earlier in the day. The losses dropped GW’s record to 0-2 in conference play and 2-4 overall.
The Colonials fell behind early against the Tigers and never recovered as they trailed 6-2 after the first quarter and could not close the deficit.
“They jumped right out on us and immediately took control of the game,” GW head coach Scott Reed said. “They kept pouring in goals left and right and we just couldn’t put anything together.”
With five freshmen and only one senior on the team, the Colonials demonstrated their lack of cohesive playing, particularly on defense, giving up a combined 35 goals in the two games.
“They are one of the best teams in the country and have much more experience,” red-shirt junior Gur Doitel said of the Princeton game. “They just overpowered us.”
Junior Pat Dodge, who scored seven of the Colonials’ goals against Princeton, echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
“If we play good team defense, we can compete against good teams,” he said. “But against Princeton we didn’t and we ran into a lot of trouble.”
The Colonials’ balanced attack led them to a much better showing in their conference opener against Bucknell, but again inexperience cost them the game. Bucknell converted three GW errors into goals within a two-minute span in the third quarter to turn the momentum in their favor and never looked back.
“With the exception of those two minutes, we played a really good game,” Reed said. “But we just can’t make those mistakes and expect to beat a good team.”
Dodge scored another two goals against Bucknell, bringing his weekend goal total to nine, but his individual performance was overshadowed by the disappointment of the loss.
“They are one of our biggest rivals,” Dodge said of Bucknell. “We really wanted that game.”
Reed said he felt his team’s frustration but thinks it will be ready for their next matches.
“The guys really wanted to win, but we’ve got our heads high,” he said. “We’ll work on some fundamentals this week and be focused and ready to go next weekend.”
GW will compete in the North/South Invitational next Saturday and Sunday in Princeton, N.J.