Men’s water polo records 11th win against Bucknell after shooting 11–8 on Saturday during the Alumni & Families Weekend game series.
The No. 19 Colonials (10-1) held a strong offensive showing against the Bison (9-7) and were able to keep a 3-point lead in the match’s final minutes. The added win comes as the Colonials are looking to increase their conference points for the Atlantic 10 championship.
The Colonials are off to their best start in program history with 12 games won out of their current 13-game slate. Graduate center Theodoros Pateros and junior goalkeeper Luca Castorina have been leading the team in the pool, and were awarded with conference honors.
Pateros acquired the GW’s student-athlete of the week and Middle Atlantic Water Polo Conference player of the week titles due to his strong showing in the pool. Pateros has blazed through the season with 24 goals over the four-game lineup last month while also scoring a team-leading 54 goals in the previous 11 games.
While Castorina earned the MAWPC Defensive Player of the Week title after compiling 49 saves with a .605 save percentage. The keeper has compiled seven assists and four steals while only allowing eight goals per game from the Colonials’ opponents.
The game kicked off with a back-to-back effort from both teams to net their first goal of the match. The Bison kept up a solid defensive effort against the Colonials to prevent them from overtaking the first half.
During the 14th minute of the first period, the Bison netted their first goal against the Colonials, which led to a 3-2 run for the Bucknell team, allowing them to take on the first lead of the game. The Colonials responded with two goals from Pateros, who took advantage of a slowed-down defense.
The Colonials got off to a slow start and maintained a losing score of 4-3 to the Bison in the first quarter, with Pateros aiding them throughout the quarter. But the Colonial’s offense began to lag in the final 10 minutes of the game as the Bison knocked in one more goal eliminating any chance for GW to overcome them in the first period.
Going into the second period, both teams once again struggled to gain enough momentum to net in the ball. The Bisons’ defense held a strong showing as the Colonials continued to push through but could not efficiently penetrate the defense to net in an equalizing goal.
The Colonials gained spirit in the final 10 minutes of the match as a goal led them to overcome the scoring drought to equalize the game 4–4, giving them another shot at winning. A second and third consecutive goal by GW led them to their first leading score of the afternoon before heading into the halftime break, leading to a 6–4 score.
The third period led to other back-to-back runs as the Bison took GW by surprise as they returned with renewed energy to overcome the Colonials from a potential win. The Bison scored two more goals from the left, equalizing 6–6.
The Colonials responded with two more goals that held their narrow lead 7–6 as the third period ended.
The fourth period led to a quick pull-through by the Colonials as they netted two more goals that assured them the win in the final minutes of the match. Water polo alumni in the crowd burst out in cheers for the team during the final push to win the game.
The Colonials netted two more goals in the final 10 minutes of the match leading to an 11–8 win for GW, marking the 11th win for the team.
The team will play the Bison once more on Oct. 8 at Bucknell where they hope to continue increasing their winning streak.
This article appeared in the October 3, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.