Mistakes can often be a hallmark of young teams, and the men’s water polo team, which features six freshmen, four sophomores and just one senior, has made its fair share.
It’s been a constant point of emphasis for head coach Scott Reed for much of the season, but even he is beginning to show signs of frustration, especially after GW’s 11-8 loss Wednesday night to Johns Hopkins.
“Mistakes. Lots of individual mistakes that cost us quite a few goals. Mistakes that we should not be making at this time of the year,” Reed said, describing the reason for his team’s defeat. “It wasn’t so much defensive mistakes, it was mistakes on the offensive side of things, where we would make a great move, we would create some good separation, but then we’d try and either make it too perfect or they were just kind of assuming the defense would just kind of part the ways and allow them to finish what they started.”
Even with all the mistakes, the Colonials (7-16, 1-5 CWPA) still had chances. After falling down 3-0 early, GW responded with three goals of its own to tie the game after a quarter. The teams exchanged goals again in the second quarter to end the first half even at four.
Hopkins took control of the game in the second half, outscoring the Colonials 7-4 after halftime. GW never fell out of the game though, and didn’t allow the Blue Jays to extend their lead to beyond two until the fourth quarter.
“We took advantage of some of their mistakes, to a certain point,” Reed said. “We just didn’t finish it off and you don’t finish it off, then that’s gonna create the opportunities for Hopkins and that’s the game right there.”
GW was led by freshman Nate Little, who had four goals and an assist Wednesday night.
Freshman Daniel Tyner scored twice against the Blue Jays while freshman Paul Deasey and senior Peter Thomas each scored once.
For Thomas, the team’s lone senior playing his final home game of his GW career, the loss was frustrating, but with two games left to play before the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Championships in a week and a half, there’s not much time for reminiscing.
“It’s emotional because it’s the last time I’m gonna play here but I look forward to what the future holds with our team and what we’re gonna accomplish come this weekend and the southern’s tournament and hopefully go on to eastern’s,” Thomas said.
With games against No. 15 Navy (CWPA) and Johns Hopkins coming up Saturday, Reed said there’s a lot to be optimistic about as the team heads into the home stretch of its season.
“It’s very encouraging. The fact that we went down, we caught them, we went down again, we caught them again, shows that we’re a team that’s never gonna back down,” Reed said. “It’s very promising. It’s a matter of, ‘Is it gonna click for them?’ And then boom, they’re gonna put that perfect game together.”
There’s still time, he said, to fix the issues from Wednesday night and get ready to face the Blue Jays again Saturday.
“We can correct any mistake,” Reed said. “Even so late. We have plenty of time, plenty of opportunities. We’re gonna go over this video, we’re gonna walk through every little thing and we’ve got all kinds of little drills to solve these issues. They will be able to correct it, it’s never too late.”