GW Men's Water Polo Opens 2015 Campaign at Bruno Classic
Colonials to Play Four Games in Two Days at Weekend Tournament
Sept. 4, 2015
GW vs. Occidental -- Saturday, Sept. 5, 8 a.m.
GW vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps -- Saturday, Sept. 5, 1 p.m.
GW vs. #17 St. Francis Brooklyn -- Saturday, Sept. 5, 8:30 p.m.
GW at #11 Brown -- Sunday, Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m. | Live Video
WASHINGTON -- The George Washington men's water polo team will play four games in two days at the Bruno Classic hosted by Brown University this weekend to open its 2015 campaign. The Colonials will face two West Coast teams -- Occidental (Saturday, 8 a.m.) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Saturday, 1 p.m.) -- and a pair of ranked opponents from the CWPA Northern Division -- No. 17 St. Francis Brooklyn (Saturday, 8:30 p.m.) and No. 11 Brown (Sunday, 10:30 a.m.). All games will be played at Brown's Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.
GW went 13-15 last season and placed fifth in the Southern Division and eighth at the CWPA Championship. The Colonials return 12 players from that squad while welcoming a deep and talented freshman class comprised of eight student-athletes.
Sophomore Pierce Deamer will lead the offense after scoring 48 goals and leading the Colonials with 65 ejections drawn during his rookie campaign. Two-year starting goalkeeper Connor Dillon returns for his senior season in the cage after posting a career-high .488 save percentage a year ago.
Occidental went 8-25 last season and placed seventh at the SCIAC Championship. Junior attacker Paul Bergevin earned Second Team All-SCIAC honors last season. The Tigers, who received votes in the Division III Preseason Top 10, will be under the direction of a new head coach in 2015, as Chris Lee took the reins in July.
GW and Occidental met last season at the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament in Claremont, California, a 10-7 victory for the Colonials. Among returning players, Deamer, senior Jonah Dowd and sophomore Duke Becker each scored a goal in that contest, while Dillon (4) and junior Sander Profaci (7) split time in goal and combined for 11 saves. Prior to that contest, the teams had not met since 2008.
Ranked second in the Division III preseason poll, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps posted a 13-14 overall record last season and lost to Whittier in the SCIAC Championship title match, falling just short of an NCAA Tournament berth. Ninth-year head coach Greg Lozano was tabbed SCIAC Coach of the Year after leading the Stags to a 9-2 conference mark. Senior attacker Tanner Cullen, a two-time First-Team All-Conference selection, paced CMS with 81 goals in 2014.
GW and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps have met in each of the last four years at the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament. The Stags edged the Colonials, 12-9, in last season's matchup, as Dowd and Deamer each scored for GW and Dillon recorded seven saves.
Ranked 17th in the nation, St. Francis Brooklyn went 16-13 overall and 10-2 in the CWPA Northern Division last season. After winning back-to-back CWPA Championships and advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and 2013, the Terriers placed fourth a year ago. The Terriers will be under the direction of first-year head coach and former Olympian Igor Zagoruiko.
GW knocked off No. 12 St. Francis, 19-18, in overtime last year at the season-opening Princeton Invitational. The Terriers represented the highest-ranked team the Colonials have ever defeated. The back-and-forth game was tied at the end of three of the four regulation periods, and Becker's marker to start the second extra session proved to be the game winner. Deamer also scored in the game, while Dillon (6) and Profaci (7) combined for 13 saves in the cage.
Defending CWPA champion Brown is ranked 11th in the nation after posting a 27-7 record in 2014. Junior Yahel Murvitz-Lahav led the Bears with 58 assists last season and ranked among team leaders in goals (53), steals (67) and ejections drawn (38). Senior Will Klein paced Brown with 122 ejections drawn to go with 39 goals en route to All-America honorable mention. In goal, junior Luke Weiser totaled 225 saves. Ninth-year head coach Felix Mercado is the reigning CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year.
GW faced Brown in the quarterfinals of the CWPA Championship in the teams' only meeting last season.
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