Water Polo Advances to MAWPC Championship Final
Colonials to play for first-ever conference tournament title on Sunday
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The No. 18 George Washington men's water polo team advanced to the MAWPC Conference final with a 12-10 victory over third-seeded Johns Hopkins on Saturday at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium.
GW is set to take on No. 12 Bucknell on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in the title game.
Freshman Atakan Destici led the Colonials with four goals, while redshirt senior Bogdan Petkovic tallied three, freshman Andrew Mavis and junior Pierce Deamer scored twice each and sophomore Jack Kerwin tallied once.
Sophomore goalie Matt Taylor put on a stellar performance, making 14 saves on the day to keep Hopkins at bay.
"We were really strong on defense and didn't let them score easily," said Destici. "Then we played like a team, all of our scores were a result of team plans and we were able to find opportunities. It was really fun to contribute to the team, and I look forward to keep giving my best."
The Blue Jays struck first to open the match but Petkovic answered with his first goal of the game at the 5:48 mark to even the score at 1-1. Hopkins followed with another score to take its last lead of the game at 2-1.
The Colonials closed the first period on a 4-0 run on two Petkovic goals and one apiece from Mavis and Destici to take a 5-2 lead.
Neither team found the back of the net through the first 6:08 of the second period. Destici then ended the drought with a pair of goals to put the Colonials ahead 7-2. Hopkins managed one goal with :10 seconds remaining in the half with the help of a power play as GW took a 7-3 advantage into the intermission.
Destici scored again to start the third quarter before Hopkins posted a pair of goals to cut GW's lead to 8-5. Deamer then tallied his first of the day with 1:04 left on the clock and Kerwin scored at the buzzer to increase the Colonials' lead to 10-5.
Deamer was the first to score in the fourth but Hopkins quickly answered with two goals. Mavis then notched his second goal of the game to put GW ahead 12-7. The Blue Jays followed with three goals to come within two at 12-10, but that's as close as Hopkins would get as the Colonials maintained control of the ball to hold on for the win.
"I'm really excited for tomorrow," said Destici. "We'll need a really good rest tonight and then we will focus on tomorrow and our game plan and do our best and hopefully get the win."
The Buff and Blue took a 10-9 victory in the squads' most recent meeting, after Bucknell defeated the Colonials in the first meeting of the season.
The Colonials are already on track for their best-ever championship finish after previously taking third in 2007.
#18 GW 12, Johns Hopkins 10
Johns Hopkins- 2-1-2-5
GW - 5-2-3-2
GW Goals: Destici 4, Petkovic 3, Deamer 2, Mavis 2, Kerwin 1
GW Assists: Destici 3, Petkovic 3, Else 2, Kerwin 1
GW Steals: Destici 4, Kerwin 4, Braun 3, Becker 2, Petkovic 2, Blosser 2
GW Field Blocks: Destici 1, Petkovic 1, Kerwin 1
GW Ejections Drawn: Deamer 4, Else 1, Mavis 1
GW Saves: Taylor 14
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