Men's Water Polo Bucks Broncos, Off to Best Start in School History

Sept. 3, 2006

ANNAPOLIS, MD - The George Washington University men's water polo team rallied from a late one-goal deficit to stun the 18th-ranked Santa Clara Broncos, 13-11, at the Navy Labor Day Open on Sunday morning. The Colonials also defeated Iona, 10-6, on Sunday and are now off to the best start (4-0) in the 24-year history of the water polo program.

Senior John Hornberger once again led the GW offense with six goals versus nationally-ranked Santa Clara, while sophomore David Zenk chipped in his second hat trick of the Open. The Colonials dominated the second quarter of play for the third consecutive game, outscoring the Broncos 5-2 in the period to assume a 9-5 advantage at the intermission. Santa Clara clawed its way back, however, outscoring GW 5-1 in the third quarter to draw even at 10-10. The Broncos grabbed an 11-10 lead with 4:51 remaining, but the Colonials rallied with three goals in the final two minutes, including a pair by Hornberger over the final 92 seconds, to secure their first victory against a nationally-ranked team under eighth-year head coach Scott Reed.

"It was a great day for us," said Reed. "John [Hornberger] and Chris [Whittam] were just absolute studs for us all weekend and John-Claude [Wright] really stepped up. It was definitely a good weekend, now we have to get ready for a pair nationally-ranked programs at the Princeton Invitational next week."

Freshman John-Claude Wright paced an exhausted GW squad with three goals against Iona, while junior goalkeeper Chris Whittam was outstanding in net, stopping a career-high 16 shots. Hornberger added two more goals versus the Gaels to bring his Open total to 14. Whittam also posted six saves against the Broncos to bring his season total to 34.

 

 

GW will play four games at the two-day Princeton Invitational next weekend. The Colonials open with No. 5 Pacific at 11:30 am on Saturday, followed by a rematch with Iona at 7:00 pm. GW will battle the host and 15th-ranked Tigers at 1:20 pm Sunday before rounding out the event versus Fordham at 4:00 pm.

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