Water polo frustrated at Princeton

An unbalanced offensive attack and poor fast-break defense caused the GW men’s water polo team to lose four matches this weekend at the North/South Invitational in Princeton, N.J, head coach Scott Reed said. The non-conference losses to Brown, Harvard and Iona universities dropped the Colonials (2-8) well below .500 heading into conference play.

More than half of GW’s offense came from junior Pat Dodge and sophomore transfer Nick Koenemann, a fact that Reed said hindered GW’s offensive production.

“We can’t depend on two players to do all the scoring,” Reed said. “Other players have to contribute.”

GW was also hurt on defense by fast breaks from the opposition. Reed estimated 80 percent of the goals scored against GW came on fast breaks.

The disappointing weekend came as Dodge was named CWPA Southern Division player of the week because of his spectacular play last weekend. Dodge had nine goals, five ejections drawn and four assists in losing efforts against Bucknell and No. 16 Princeton universities.

Dodge continued to lead the Colonials in their 12-10 loss to Brown University in the Colonials’ closest and final game of the tournament Sunday. He scored four goals while Koenemann added three.

GW showed consistency on both offense and defense against Brown, something that was lacking earlier in the weekend. The game was even, except for the second quarter, when Brown outscored GW 4-1.

Earlier in the day, Harvard flattened GW 14-6. The Colonials came out lifeless, falling behind 5-0 after the first quarter, and Harvard never relented. Dodge scored three goals and Koenemann added two in the losing effort.

“This was our worst game of the weekend,” Reed said. “We were not ready to play and they just had too much firepower.”

Iona crushed GW 12-4 in the Saturday afternoon game. A strong Iona squad exploited the Colonials’ weak fast-break defense, scoring 90 percent of its goals on fast breaks, Reed said.

“We turned the ball over quite a bit and they counterattacked like no tomorrow,” he said.

GW opened the weekend with a 13-7 loss to No. 14 Queens College, which capitalized on a small number of GW turnovers. Dodge led the Colonials with four goals and Koenemann added three.

“We didn’t make many mistakes,” Reed said, “but they used their experience to capitalize on the ones we did make.”

Reed wasted no time dwelling on the weekend, but instead looked ahead to an important conference game against the U.S. Naval Academy, who comes to the Smith Center Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

“This week we’ll go over the basics again and get ready for Navy,” he said. “We just have to play good defense and then put the ball in the net when we have the opportunity.”

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