CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The 15th-ranked United States Naval Academy water polo team put a cap on a successful weekend with five wins on Sunday, including victories in all three games in California. Navy defeated three of the top seven Division III teams while playing in California, then won two more games in Annapolis in the North-vs.-South Tournament. Navy is now 13-3 on the season entering league play next weekend.
The Midshipmen concluded their grueling 11-game weekend with a 9-2 mark, falling to 12th-ranked University of California-San Diego on Friday night and to Division III power Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, 10-7, on Saturday night.
"We played about five quarters out here where we were very, very good. Then we played about 12 quarters that we were very average," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We are still a work in progress, but one thing this team has shown is some resiliency. We have fallen behind by five or six goals in games against UC-San Diego, Loyola Marymount University and St. Francis College, and came back to win two of them and felt we should have won the other one. We don't have a lot of quit in us, but we need to do a better job not falling behind by five goals. Our defense needs to be better, but we will get there."
In Sunday's first win of the day against the University of Redlands, the Mids jumped out to a 7-3 lead at halftime and stayed in control throughout, registering a 12-6 victory. Anthony Gutierrez made 11 saves in goal in the first three quarters, while Eugene Chang stopped three shots in the fourth quarter. Conor Handley, Paul Pedrotty, Archie Warren and Kyle Wertz each scored a pair of goals in the victory.
In the day's second game in California, Navy took down Division III's No. 1-ranked team, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, 14-12. The Mids led 6-4 after one quarter and 11-7 at halftime, before holding off every CMS surge in the second half. Handley paced Navy with three goals, Warren had two and nine other players scored one goal each. Gutierrez had eight saves in goal, while Chang had four.
Navy breezed to the victory over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 18-5, in the nightcap. The two teams were tied at two after one quarter, but Navy outscored the Engineers, 12-1, over the middle two quarters to take control of the contest.
Tyler Thein led Navy with three goals, while Stevie Ray, Wertz, Pedrotty, Jesse Walter and Taylor Setness each scored a pair of goals. Wertz added four assists and Setness dished out three. Eugene Chang stopped nine shots in goal.
Meanwhile in Annapolis, Navy posted a 2-0 record against Eastern teams to cap a three-game sweep in the North vs. South Tournament. The Mids defeated Harvard University in the first game, 10-8, after leading 2-0 after one quarter and 3-2 at halftime. Navy took a 7-5 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Erich Schwamb paced Navy with four goals, including three of Navy's four goals in the third quarter. Scott Cotton and P.J. Taylor each had two goals. Tyler Barker stopped seven shots in goal.
Navy then completed its unbeaten mark with a 14-7 victory over Connecticut College. The Midshipmen jumped out to a 7-1 advantage midway through the second quarter, but Connecticut College scored five of the next six goals to cut the lead to 8-6 after three quarters. But Navy outscored CC, 6-1, in the fourth quarter for the seven-goal victory.
Jeff Davis, David Hasegan, Mason Weber and Doug Wubbena each scored two goals for Navy, while six other players had one each.
Assistant coach Mladen Stanicic stayed back with the team in Annapolis and noted the play of Schwamb over the weekend. "Erich made an outstanding contribution all weekend long on both ends of the pool, but particularly on the defensive end."
Navy will begin league play next Saturday when it hosts Princeton (11:00 am) and Bucknell (7:00 pm) at Macdonough Hall's Scott Natatorium. The contest against Princeton will be streamed online at NavySports.com free of charge as part of the Navy All-Access package.
Release courtesy Navy Athletic Communications