Poor transition defense stifles men’s water polo in 15-13 loss

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

After surrendering eight goals in the first quarter to Johns Hopkins on Saturday, a late comeback in the latter half of the game was too little too late for men’s water polo, which lost the match 15-13.

“That was a good example of lousy reaction defense,” head coach Scott Reed. “It was absolutely horrendous.”

Senior Ridvan Pehlivan led the Colonials with five goals, while adding two assists and one block. Junior Bogdan Petkovic added three goals of his own along with four assists and one block.

GW was able to tie the Blue Jays 9-9 during the third quarter, but was never able to take the lead.

“We tended to look at what was happening with our teammates rather than closing up their counterattacks,” Petkovic said. “It’s more a mental thing than a tactical team.”

Both Reed and Petkovic were critical of the team’s performance in the transition game. Reed said it was the main factor in giving up a six-goal lead in the first quarter.

“These guys are so focused on wanting to score that they forget that they have to play transition defense,” Reed said. “When you give a team like this a six goal lead it’s difficult to overcome that.”

After tying the game in the third quarter, the Colonials pulled within a single goal at the start of the fourth, and again about one minute into the quarter. But Johns Hopkins scored three consecutive goals to put the game away.

Reed said after the Colonials created a deficit in the opening corner, the team struggled to take the lead.

“We had to exert that much more energy just to catch up and by the time we did the other team gets their second wind and then we’re down by two again,” Reed said.

GW returns to action Oct. 22 in a rematch against Johns Hopkins in Baltimore

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