Up 12-7 early in the third quarter, the men’s water polo team appeared to be in good shape during Tuesday night’s game against Johns Hopkins at Smith Center. But when things were looking good they simultaneously started to unravel.
The Blue Jays scored nine straight goals and allowed the Colonials just one, winning the game 16-13.
“We had a very good first half and then we collapsed,” coach Scott Reed said. “We forgot to play defense, and when we don’t defend, our offense sputters and that’s what happened.”
Playing without leading scorer junior David Zenk, who was sidelined with an eye injury, the Colonials (8-16, 0-8 CWPA Southern Division) took an early lead but soon lost focus. Senior John Jennings’ behind-the-back goal in the middle of the second quarter put his team up 9-5 and may have been one of the bright spots from the game, but Reed said that he was not happy with the way his team let Johns Hopkins (11-11, 4-4 CWPA Southern Division) get back into the game.
“We have to work on the little things, like not losing our focus,” Reed said. “We shouldn’t lose games like this. This was very disappointing.”
Junior Nick Eddy also supplied one of the few highlights for the Colonials, scoring five goals, including the final one with 52 seconds to play. Sophomore Jean-Claude Wright added a hat trick.
Goalie Chris Whittam, a senior who finished with a season-high eighteen saves, said he felt the team was a bit spent in playing its seventh game in five days.
“We came out strong for the last home game for the three seniors (Justin Licht, John Jennings and Whittam) but we got too excited with the big lead,” Whittam said. “We really came out hard at them but then they made good shots and ours didn’t fall. We now have to turn our focus at the Southern Championships and attain our goal of getting to the Eastern Championships.”
The Colonials are the fifth seed at Southern Championships, which will be held at Navy. GW faces Washington & Jefferson Nov. 3 and Bucknell Nov. 4. They have lost to Bucknell twice this season, with both games decided by one goal.