Water polo drops two to ranked teams

For the GW water polo team, beating 11th ranked Princeton is difficult to begin with, as evidenced by its 0-2 record versus the Tigers this season entering Sunday. Beating them without ejected coach Scott Reed, the Colonials found out, was impossible.

GW lost both games of its doubleheader, first 11-9 to No. 17 Bucknell, then to Princeton by a score of 12-6, dropping GW’s record to 10-13 overall.

Princeton 12, GW 6

During the Colonials’ contest against Princeton, Reed exploded out of his chair and berated the near referee after Reed said he thought his player was blatantly fouled and no call was made. After being given a yellow card, Reed sat down, but continued to express his displeasure with the call. Then, for the first time in Reed’s coaching career, he received a red card and was ejected from the game.

“I saw one of my players get hit in the face a couple of times during dead play right in front of the referee, who wasn’t paying attention,” Reed said. “I tried to get his attention on the matter, and apparently he didn’t want to listen to me so he took the easy way out and threw me out of the game. I’m not proud of it.”

Princeton entered the match Sunday on a three-match losing streak. The GW players looked at the game as an opportunity to exact revenge on the team that had dealt it two losses earlier in the year. Once again, however, the Colonials fell short, playing a strong first half before falling apart in the third quarter.

The team received a short energy boost from Reed’s ejection and went on a run before the half. Princeton’s fast break was cut short by a strip, which led to an immediate scoring chance for sophomore John Jennings, who converted with one second left in the half to make the score 4-3 Princeton.

The third quarter was a different story, as Princeton took complete control, scoring six straight goals to make the score 11-4 at the end of the quarter. It was clear that Reed was sorely missed on the sideline, as GW’s offense seemed to sputter and Princeton took advantage with its own aggressive offense.

“The third quarter we had some pretty big turnovers, just kind of passed the ball right into their drops and crashes,” Reed said. “They countered and started really shooting the ball well. This is the type of team where you can’t fall behind four goals, it’s pretty tough to makeup.”

“Without a coach, we’re not exactly sure when to call a timeout,” senior captain Anthony Guadagni said. “He’s sees the momentum shift a lot better than we do but as a whole we responded pretty well (without a coach.)”

Because an ejected player or coach must sit out the team’s next game as well, 2005 graduate Gur Doitel will coach the team Wednesday against Johns Hopkins.

After Wednesday’s match, the regular season finale, GW begins preparing for its CWPA Southern championship, beginning Oct. 28 in Annapolis, Md. With a 0-9 Southern Conference record so far, the Colonials will have to play a complete game in order to do well.

“We’re headed in the right direction, we just need to play four quarters of consistent water polo,” Reed said. “We’re up to three or three and a half now, it’s that half quarter that’s hurting us. We have two weeks before Southerns to work on that and make that correction.”

Bucknell 11, GW 9

In the first match against Bucknell, GW fell behind two goals early and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. Numerous times throughout the match, they would close the gap, only to give up a goal that left them behind once again.

After letting the deficit swell to three goals in the third quarter, GW drew within one goal numerous times, first on a goal by sophomore driver Jonathan Lo, then on a backhanded goal by sophomore hole set John Jennings that made the score 8-7. The team’s traded goals until Jennings scored another quick backhanded goal to make the score 9-9 with 1:35 left in the game. The trend continued and GW allowed a game-winner by senior Bucknell utilityman Brad Roslyn with 50 seconds left. The Bison tacked on a penalty shot at the end to clinch the win.

“I thought we played a very solid game,” Guadagni said. “They’re a good team . We had a chance at the end to win it, but it was a solid game that will hopefully help us carry some momentum into the (CWPA Southern Championship).”

Jennings was the bright spot in both matches, scoring six goals in total. Before these games, he was not in the top five scorers on the team.

“This is the best John has played all season long,” Reed said. “It looks like he’s got his second win, so to speak, and his confidence is really getting up there.”

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