The GW men’s water polo team scored 60 goals in four games this weekend to break an eight-game losing streak and finish sixth at the Inter Regional Competition in Grove City, Pa. The Colonials finished the weekend with a 2-2 record, placing them halfway down the field of 12.
“We saw a lot of positives, and we’re definitely looking forward to the Southern Championship in two weeks,” head coach Scott Reed said. “We think we’re starting to peak at the right time.”
Reed said he was pleased that he finally got a balanced offensive effort from his team. Previously this season, team-leading scorer junior Pat Dodge had dominated offensively in almost every game. Dodge again led the team with 20 goals, but he also helped spread the scoring by dishing out 13 assists. Sophomore Nick Koenneman added 13 goals and 11 assists.
In the final game of the weekend, GW lost to Washington Jefferson College 14-11. Reed said the game was a disheartening end to an otherwise positive weekend and called the team’s effort disappointing.
“The offense was there, but we just weren’t playing as hard as we should have,” he said. “There was no fire in our eyes and we didn’t put forth the effort to win it.”
Earlier in the day, GW unloaded on a weaker squad from Salem International and won 18-12. The Colonials jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
“We played them earlier in the season and only won by two,” Reed said. “We wanted to jump out fast and let them know we were a new team, and that’s exactly what we did.”
In Friday’s action, GW lost a hotly contested match to Johns Hopkins, 15-13, the second Colonials loss of the season to their conference rival. The GW offensive attack was strong, but Johns Hopkins out-shot the Colonials to pull out the victory.
“We again played very well offensively,” Reed said. “But in the end, it just wasn’t enough.”
GW beat Slippery Rock University in overtime in the opening game of the weekend Friday. The team started off strong and set the stage for the rest of the weekend, Reed said, as the Colonials won 15-12.
“One of our problems all season was the inability to put the ball in the net,” he said. “But in this game we just started lighting it up, and we took off from there.”
GW looks ahead to the Air Force Invite this weekend in Colorado Springs, Co. The tournament will be a final tune-up for the CWPA Southern Championship the following weekend, where GW has the sixth seed.
“We’ve got Johns Hopkins in the first round at the Southerns and we’re looking forward to it,” Reed said. “Hopefully, our trip to Air Force will get us ready for a strong showing.”