Men's Water Polo Wins Two of Three on Day 2 of Southerns
Colonials Will Vie for Fifth Place Finish Sunday Afternoon
Nov. 9, 2008
PRINCETON, NJ - The George Washington men's water polo team fell to No. 16 Princeton, 16-9, in the quarterfinals of the CWPA Southern Division Championship Saturday morning, but rebounded with victories over Penn State Behrend and Gannon to move into Sunday's fifth-place game.
With Saturday's quarterfinal loss, seventh-seeded GW (10-20) will not reach the CWPA Eastern Championship -- awarded to top four finishers at Southerns -- for the second straight season. However, the Colonials will look to avenge an early-season loss to fourth-seeded Mercyhurst in the fifth-place game Sunday at 12:30 pm. GW has finished fifth at Southerns four times since the tournament began in 2000.
Junior John-Claude Wright scored a team-high three goals, but it wasn't enough as No. 16 Princeton surged to a four-goal first-quarter lead and led 12-4 at the half in Saturday's quarterfinal match-up. Redshirt senior Nick Eddy added two goals and senior Sergei Shev, junior Marshall Freedman, sophomore Brett Gall and freshman Dan Alessandri each scored once. Rookie goalkeeper Alex Sotolongo had four saves through the first three quarters, while classmate Craig Merlin made two saves in the fourth period.
GW bounced back with a sound 14-4 thumping of ninth-seeded Penn State Behrend in its afternoon contest. The Colonials led 6-0 after eight minutes and 10-1 at the half to ease past the Lions. Nine different players scored, led by two goals each from Wright, Eddy, Alessandri, junior Nick Archambault and sophomore Nick Yeager, while rookie Cray Rogers chipped in a goal and five assists. Sotolongo (1st half) and Merlin (2nd half) each made seven stops.
The Colonials exacted revenge for a late-season loss to Gannon with an 11-6 victory over the sixth-seeded Golden Knights in Saturday's night game. GW scored the game's first goal and led throughout, highlighted by a 3-0 third quarter which led to a 9-4 advantage in what head coach Scott Reed dubbed his team's "best game of the season." Wright once again led with three goals, followed by two from Cray Rogers, Eddy and Yeager. Sotolongo made a career-high 15 saves.
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