Men’s water polo beats Bucknell, falls to Princeton at home
The men’s water polo team opened its conference play over the weekend, topping Collegiate Water Polo Association rival Bucknell 10-7 Saturday night before falling 13-9 to 17th-ranked Princeton Sunday afternoon.
The win Saturday night broke a 14-game CWPA losing streak for the Colonials (5-9, 1-1 CWPA) and avenged GW’s 21-3 loss to Bucknell a week ago. The Colonials were led on offense by three freshmen – Daniel Tyner, Paul Deasey and Nate Little – who combined to account for all 10 of their team’s goals in the win.
On Sunday, GW managed to hang with Princeton early, taking a 4-3 deficit into the second quarter. Once the teams switched sides to begin at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers began to pull away.
Shooting at the goal at the shallow end of the pool, Princeton scored three unanswered goals, turning a one-goal advantage into a four-goal lead. Playing in just their second game of the season with a shallow end of the pool, Tyner said the transition from defending a smaller deep-water goal to a larger shallow-water one was difficult for the young Colonials.
“I think it plays a part when you switch from the deep end to the shallow end, you have to make the transition and I think they did a little faster than we did,” Tyner said. “We didn’t do as well as they did in the shallow end.”
“A lot of us aren’t used to playing in the shallow end,” he added. “This is actually my second game playing in the shallow end, so I’m starting to get used to it, as are the other members on the team.”
Tyner led the Colonials on offense in the loss with four goals against Princeton. Deasey led GW in assists with four.
While Tyner pointed to his team’s struggles with a new type of pool, head coach Scott Reed said that the difference between playing in an all-deep water pool and playing in a pool with shallow and deep ends shouldn’t have been such a major problem.
“I mean it might be some awkwardness into that because we don’t really train for shooting at a shallow end cage, even though it is part of our pool, but those guys are at a level where they do need to be able to adjust within the first minute of that game,” Reed said. “Some of it can be attributed to just being a young group. That wasn’t the main problem with that game.”
Instead, Reed pointed to his team’s transition defense as the biggest issue of the loss. Scoring in transition is a strength for Princeton, Reed said, and the young Colonials struggled as a group to contain them.
“Our transition defense was probably the one thing that was lacking in that whole game, and as far as I’m concerned that was the key to the game right there,” Reed said. “That’s their bread and butter, that’s how they win games, is with their fast break, and we had to stop it. It’s that first brief second on that fast break that makes all the difference in the world, and they just reacted a little bit faster than we did.”
GW will be at home again Oct. 6 against Navy at 8 p.m.
Number Crunch: 3
The number of goals sophomore Adriana Moya has scored in the past three games for the Colonials.