For the men’s water polo team, this weekend was a series of unfortunate events.
First was a schedule packed with six games in three days, leaving the squad exhausted. Sophomore John-Claude Wright was so tired from his four-goal performance during the Colonials’ 9-8 loss to No. 16 Bucknell Sunday morning that he slept right through his alarm meant to wake him before the Colonials’ 2 p.m. game that same day against No. 20 Princeton. Coach Scott Reed chose to sit him for the first half.
“We’re all running on empty,” senior goalie Chris Whittam said after the marathon’s final game, which ended in a 9-7 loss.
The home game against Bucknell also handed the team an unlucky situation when senior Mark Masterson broke a tie in the last two minutes with a converted five-meter penalty shot.
GW (8-14) also lost to No. 15 Air Force 6-5, rounding out a total of seven games decided by one goal this season.
“Losing by one point seems to be the story of our lives these days,” Wright said.
The match-up against the Bison was very evenly paced, with the two squads exchanging goals and the lead with the feeling of a close basketball game, and Reed said it was “just one of those games where the last team that hits a shot wins.”
There was also the disappointment of referee calls not going the Colonials’ way, as two GW goals in the third quarter of the match against Princeton were not counted because a ref had blown the whistle just moments before the shot was taken.
“I was hoping we were going to pull through, but the calls were going here and there,” Wright said. “Unfortunately, that’s just how water polo goes.”
Things started to look up for the men in the fourth quarter as Wright and juniors David Zenk and Nick Eddy pulled together a three-goal run in the last four minutes. Following an impressive steal and assist to Eddy that placed the team within two goals of the Tigers, Zenk received a severe cut to his right eye. Zenk’s inopportune injury seemed to fit right in with the team’s bad luck.
Zenk’s status for Tuesday’s game against Johns Hopkins is uncertain, but Reed said he is optimistic that Zenk will recover in time. Whittam said his teammates are looking forward to their last league match before playing in the Southern Division Championships Nov. 3 and 4.
“We’re excited to play Johns Hopkins again,” Whittam said. “It should be a great game for people to come watch.”
Despite a weekend where nothing except a 9-6 win over Harvard Friday afternoon seemed to be going in the Colonials’ favor, there were still some positives to take away. Keeping pace with Bucknell and the impressive fourth-quarter run against Princeton were both aspects of play that Reed said he would like the team to focus on.
“We have to take a look back at all our past games, take all the good parts, and put them together for Tuesday’s game,” Reed said. “That’s what you have to do to be successful.”