Men's Water Polo Finishes Second at MAWPC Championship
Colonials wrap stellar season in title game
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The No. 18 George Washington men's water polo squad wrapped the 2016 season in the MAWPC Championship final on Sunday, falling to No. 12 Bucknell, 11-5, at the Bison's Kinney Natatorium.
The Colonials posted the best-ever finish at a conference tournament, finishing second to top the 2007 team's third-place finish.
Redshirt senior Bogdan Petkovic and freshman Atakan Destici were named MAWPC Championship All-Tournament First Team members, while sophomore goalie Matt Taylor and junior Pierce Deamer were Second Team selections. Second-year head coach Adam Foley was named Dick Russell Coach of the Year.
Five different Colonials accounted for GW's goals on Sunday with Petkovic finding the back of the net to open the game. The Bison quickly answered with a score of their own before Deamer reclaimed the lead with 2:11 left in the first. Another Bucknell goal knotted the score at 2-2 to close the quarter.
Junior Duke Becker scored for the Buff and Blue to open the second stanza, but Bucknell went on a 4-0 run to end the half with a 6-3 lead.
The Bison kept the momentum in the third, scoring three and holding GW scoreless.
Destici broke through for the Colonials in the fourth with his first goal of the game, followed by junior Noah McKinnie Braun's powerplay goal to cut Bucknell's lead to 9-5. The Bison answered with two goals to end the contest and take an 11-5 victory.
The Colonials posted a stellar season, finishing 2016 with a 15-11 overall record - the most victories since 2013. The squad's 8-2 MAWPC mark eclipsed the total number of league victories in the previous five seasons combined. GW also achieved a season-high national ranking of No. 14, matching a program best.
Petkovic experienced GW's ascension to one of the top teams in the conference during his five seasons as a Colonial.
"I think the last two years saw the major changes," said Petkovic. "Having Coach Foley at the head coach position and his recruiting great players who contributed right away have made the difference. My freshman year we didn't make it to the conference tournament, and now we played in the championship game, so that says it all right there about how the program has grown.
"This year has been fun; it's the end of a chapter. I'm glad that I was able to play this year when we had all the pieces to be great and Coach Foley put me in a position to finish this chapter the right way. The championship game is just one game, but I really had fun this season and I finished the way I wanted to."
Fellow captain Pierce Deamer is looking forward to another great year in the Buff and Blue.
"This year we came up short at the end, but looking back at where we've come from since my freshman year, we've definitely taken huge strides forward," said Deamer. "We always knew we had a chance this year and we definitely showed that. I feel great about next year - every time I get in the pool I feel like with the guys around me we have a chance no matter what." #12 Bucknell 11, #18 GW 5
GW - 2 - 1- 0 - 2
Bucknell - 2 - 4- 3 - 2
GW Goals: Petkovic 1, Deamer 1, Becker 1, Destici 1, Braun 1
GW Assists: Becker 2, Petkovic 1, Deamer 1
GW Steals: Destici 4, Becker 2, Petkovic 2, Else 1, Mavis 1, Deamer 1, Blosser 1
GW Field Blocks: Petkovic 2, Kerwin 1
GW Ejections Drawn: Deamer 3, Else 2, Destici 1
GW Saves: Taylor 6
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