Men's Water Polo Hits Pool Saturday at Navy Open

Sept. 2, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington men's water polo team will play four Collegiate Water Polo Association crossover games to begin the 2010 season at this weekend's Navy Open in Annapolis, MD. The Colonials will battle CWPA North foe Fordham and CWPA West rival Penn State Behrend Saturday before taking on the West's Mercyhurst and North's Queens-NY Sunday.

Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010
GW vs. Fordham - 9:15 am, Scott Natatorium
GW vs. Penn State Behrend - 2:15 pm, Scott Natatorium

Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
GW vs. Mercyhurst - 8:00 am, Scott Natatorium
GW vs. Queens-NY - 2:15 pm, Scott Natatorium

GW has beaten PSU Behrend, Mercyhurst and Queens-NY in its most recent meetings with the programs. The Colonials topped the Lakers (8-6) and Knights (10-6) at last year's Navy Open, added another September 2009 victory over the Knights (14-6), and beat the Nittany Lions (14-4) in the 2008 CWPA Southern Division Championship. GW narrowly fell to Fordham, 10-9 in overtime, in the schools' most recent matchup at last fall's Princeton Invitational.


Youth will be served for the George Washington men's water polo team in 2010. Senior center Peter Thomas will be the team's lone upperclassmen as head coach Scott Reed looks to rebuild a squad that lost seven key letterwinners following a 9-22 campaign last fall.

Despite the young lineup, Reed feels his strong five-player recruiting class and the experience of sophomores Cameron Illes, Guy Helman and John Paul Bezerra will aid his team in its quest to move past the CWPA Southern Division Championship and qualify for the program's seventh Eastern Championship.



"With such an inexperienced roster, we will have our ups and downs throughout the season," says Reed, who is in his 12th season overall and was inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame in March. "However, our goal is to learn from the regular season experiences and prepare for the championship season."

The strength of the team will lie in defense with the return of starting goalkeeper Cameron Illes and center defender Guy Helman. Illes quickly settled in as the Colonials starter in goal, earning CWPA Rookie of the Week honors twice in the first three weeks of the 2009 season. He went on to average more than eight saves and post a .489 save percentage, the third highest mark in program history. Helman not only returns to five-meter defense, but is also GW's leading returning scorer after totaling 17 goals and 29 assists as a rookie last fall. He's also the team's active leader with 31 steals and 23 field blocks, a total that already places him fourth on GW's career list.

Thomas will be trusted to have enhanced roles both in the water, where he is the team's most experienced player with 61 career games played, and in the huddle as elder statesman and remaining connection to the program's memorable 2007 season in which it finished just two wins shy of the NCAA semifinals.

Also returning are sophomore attackers Bezerra, German Olano and Mike Mazzara, all of whom will need to step up their contributions on the offensive end for GW to be successful in 2010. Bezerra garnered the most experience of the trio last season, finishing with 16 goals and 16 assists in 31 games as a rookie.

Backing up Illes in goal will be sophomore Sean Joyce, who posted 12 saves in 11 quarters played in 2009.

Reed will rely heavily on this season's freshmen, stating that "this incoming class, along with our returning players, will be the foundation for our success." Leading the class are National Letter of Intent signees Paul Deasey, Nate Little, Daniel Tyner and Jason Veris.

Deasey, who totaled a school record 329 goals during his scholastic career at The Haverford School in eastern Pennsylvania, will help bolster the attack, while Veris will team with Thomas at center. Little and Tyner, a pair of First Team All-CIF South performers, will share time at utility. Rounding out the list of rookies is attacker Luke Carrino, a second team all-league and All-Central California pick as a senior at The Menlo School in Palo Alto, CA.

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