Petkovic Powers Men's Water Polo to MAWPC Semis
Colonials dominate Mercyhurst to open championship play
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Redshirt senior Bogdan Petkovic tallied a game-high seven goals to lead the George Washington men's water polo squad to a dominating, 17-6, victory over Mercyhurst in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championship.
"I think we executed our coaches' overall plan today," said Petkovic. "On defense everyone focused on their part and on offense we played for each other and were dominant. We were patient and executed well. We made sure to take advantage of the shots we had and put it away."
Freshman Atakan Destici added five goals of his own while rookie freshman Andrew Mavis, juniors Duke Becker and Pierce Deamer, and sophomores Jack Kerwin and Zach Slaughter each added one goal apiece to advance the Colonials to Saturday's semifinals. Second-seeded GW will take on third-seeded Johns Hopkins at 6 p.m. at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium.
The Colonials blanked the Lakers, 5-0, in the first quarter as Petkovic started the scoring less than a minute into the contest. Back-to-back powerplay goals by Destici and Petkovic put GW ahead 3-0. Mavis then scored on another powerplay with 2:53 left in the period before Petkovic tallied his second to close the quarter.
Kerwin started the scoring in the second quarter at the 7:00 mark on a powerplay to put the Colonials up 6-0. Petkovic then scored again before Mercyhurst got on the board with 3:27 remaining in the half to put the score at 7-1 in GW's favor at the intermission.
Becker and Destici then posted back-to-back scores to begin the third before Petkovic scored yet again with 5:30 on the clock. A Petkovic penalty shot at 4:53 put GW ahead 11-1 before another Destici goal. Mercyhurst scored with 4:04 on the clock but Slaughter answered with a goal of his own. Destici netted his fourth goal of the game to close the period with a 14-2 lead.
Sophomore goalie Austin Pyrch came on in relief of classmate Matt Taylor to start the fourth quarter. Deamer struck first with a goal at the 6:49 mark followed by Destici's fifth and final score to give the Colonials a 16-2 advantage - their largest lead of the day. Mercyhurst then tallied a pair of goals to put the score at 16-4. Petkovic answered with a goal with 4:34 left in regulation. The Lancers added two more goals to close the game as the Colonials took home a 17-6 victory.
Freshman Jordan Blosser and Destici posted strong days defensively with a game-high four steals apiece, while sophomore Connor Rosenberg and Becker added two, and juniors Noah McKinnie Braun and Joe Behun, sophomore Brett Else, Mavis and Petkovic tallied one steal each.
Taylor closed the day with six saves, while Pyrch added two.
"We feel good after today," said Petkovic. "If we continue to do everything we did well today and elevate our level of play, we'll do well. We're going to have the same approach as today moving forward and hopefully that does the job."
The Colonials will play their semifinal game on Saturday at 6 p.m. and look to avenge a late-season loss to Johns Hopkins. Earlier this season, GW edged the Blue Jays, 12-11.
#18 GW 17, Mercyhurst 6
GW - 5-2-7-3
Mercyhurst - 0-1-1-4
GW Goals: Petkovic 7, Destici 5, Mavis 1, Becker 1, Deamer 1, Kerwin 1, Slaughter 1
GW Assists: destici 6, Braun 2, Else 1, Petkovic 1, Deamer 1, Kerwin 1
GW Steals: Blosser 4, Destici 4, Becker 3, Rosenburg 2, Mavis 1, Else 1, Braun 1, Behun 1, Petkovic 1
GW Field Blocks: Else 3, Petkovic 1, Deamer 1, Blosser 1
GW Ejections Drawn: Deamer 3, Mavis 2, Becker 1, Slaughter 1
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