Men's Water Polo Begins 2005 at Navy Open This Weekend
Matches Against Two Nationally-Ranked Opponents Highlight Tournament Schedule
Sept. 2, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC - The GW men's water polo team kicks off the 2005 season in Annapolis, MD at the Navy Open on Sept. 3-4. The Colonials will play four matches at the event beginning with No. 12 Pacific at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 at McDonough Pool. GW will also take on Penn State Behrend on Sept. 3 at 3:30 p.m. at McDonough. On Sept. 4, the Colonials will play two matches at the Lejeune Pool versus Iona at 12:30 p.m. and against No. 12 Saint Francis (NY) at 5:30 p.m.
The Colonials went 9-19 in 2004 and are currently tied for 10th in the CWPA Top 10 poll. They return two of their top three scorers from a year ago. Senior captain Anthony Guadagni is back for his final season. Guadagni ranked third on the club last year with 45 points and led GW with 28 assists. Also back on this year's roster is sophomore Nick Eddy. Eddy ranked second on the team in 2004 with 47 points and 34 goals. He also led the Colonials with 38 steals.
GW also returns both of its goalkeepers from last season. Senior captain Tom Mills made 91 saves in 51 quarters in 2004, while sophomore Chris Whittam led the Colonials with 147 stops. The pair will most likely split time again this year.
The Navy Open will mark the collegiate debuts of seven freshmen, Coach Scott Reed's largest freshman class in his seven years at the helm of the program. David Zenk, Andrew Sweeney, Bill Richardson, Gustavo Canto, Sergei Shev, Connor Lynagh, and Brandon Boerbaitz will all compete for the first time in GW cap this weekend.
The Colonials open the tournament against No. 12 Pacific. Pacific is tied with Saint Francis (NY) for the 12th position in the national rankings. The Tigers were 7-18 overall in 2004, but return their top two goal scorers, Dragon Bakic (31 goals) and Matt Turnbull (29 goals). Marko Popovic, their starting goalkeeper is also back. Popovic notched 126 saves in last season.
GW's second contest is against Penn State Behrend. Behrend, a Division III school, also has its top two scorers from last year on the roster again this season. All-American Anthony Spoto and Andre Prankevicious combined for 118 of Behrend's 193 tallies in 2004 and they will lead the club's offensive attack.
On Sunday, the Colonials meet Iona in their first match of the day. Coach Brian Kelly's squad was 10-12 last season and returns All-America goalie Jason Simpson. Simpson shined in 2004, making 221 saves. The Gaels also have their top goal-scoring threat from a year ago back in the form of Chris Brown. Brown tallied 43 goals in 2004.
GW wraps up the competition with another nationally-ranked foe, No. 12 Saint Francis (NY). The Terriers were 24-4 last year and just missed reaching the national semi-finals, falling 3-2 to Princeton in quadruple overtime. Saint Francis (NY) has nine players back from last year's squad, including Botand Szalma and Gergerly Fabian.
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