GW Men's Water Polo Opens 2014 Campaign at Princeton Invite
Colonials to Play Four Games in Two Days This Weekend at Annual Tournament
Sept. 5, 2014
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's water polo team will play four games in two days against CWPA Northern Division competition at the annual Princeton Invitational this weekend to open its 2014 campaign. The Colonials will face MIT and No. 12 St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday before taking on Iona and No. 18 Brown on Sunday. All games will be played at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool.
2014 PRINCETON INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 6
GW vs. MIT - 11:45 a.m.
GW vs. No. 12 St. Francis (N.Y.) - 4:45 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 7
GW vs. Iona - 11:45 a.m.
GW vs. Brown - 4:45 p.m.
The Colonials went 2-1 at the 2013 Princeton Invite during a 9-2 start to the season, defeating Iona and Harvard but falling to No. 16 Santa Clara. Junior Bogdan Petkovic recorded team highs of eight goals, 12 points, 11 steals and six field blocks at the tournament en route to CWPA Southern Division Co-Player of the Week honors. Senior Ridvan Pehlivan also scored eight goals and added eight ejections drawn in the three games, and senior Brian Mojica dished out seven assists.
Petkovic, Pehlivan and Mojica lead the way among returning players for the Colonials this season. A two-time honorable mention All-American, Petkovic led GW last year in steals (75) and field blocks (30) while ranking second in assists (35) and points (88) and third in goals (53). Pehlivan, who led the Colonials with 44 ejections drawn a year ago, has never scored less than 40 goals in a season, and his 55 tallies in 2013 were a career high and ranked second on the team. Mojica enters the season with 147 career assists, second all-time in program history. He led the Colonials with 48 helpers last season and was second on the team with 39 steals and third with 72 points.
GW is coming off its most successful season in seven years, finishing with its first winning record (16-15) since 2006 and posting its most wins since 1998. The Colonials, who were ranked in the top 20 nationally for two weeks, finished seventh at the CWPA Championship.
MIT went 13-17 last season and placed eighth at the CWPA Championship after falling to the Colonials, 12-9, in the final game of the tournament. Junior Ory Tasman was the Engineers' top scorer with 68 goals to go with 55 steals a year ago, while junior Kale Rogers recorded 40 goals, 41 steals and 39 ejections drawn.
Two-time defending CWPA champion St. Francis (N.Y.) earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament last season and finished with a 23-12 overall record. The Terriers, who have won four straight Northern Division titles and are ranked 12th nationally in the preseason poll, will be led by senior Lazar Komandinic, who scored 48 goals and added 46 steals last season.
St. Francis defeated GW, 14-6, at the 2013 CWPA Championship. The Colonials were led by Pehlivan with four goals, while senior Vuk Vujosevic scored five for the Terriers.
Iona went 7-27 last season and placed 12th at the CWPA Championship. Senior Jake Lloyd paced the Gaels with 89 goals and 102 points last season, while senior Ian Thompson scored 45 goals and added 56 ejections drawn.
GW defeated Iona twice last season - 16-8 at the Princeton Invite behind five goals from Petkovic and nine saves from junior goalkeeper Connor Dillon, and 15-6 in late October, also at Princeton. Petkovic scored four more goals in that game and has 12 goals in five career games against the Gaels. Sophomore Sander Profaci stopped 11 shots in GW's second game against Iona last season.
Ranked 18th in the national preseason poll, Brown is coming off a 23-13 season in which it placed fifth at the CWPA Championship after taking third at Northerns. This season, the Bears will be led by senior Henry Fox, a three-time All-North selection and a 2013 All-American honorable mention after recording 85 goals, 21 assists and 48 steals. Also back is junior Will Klein, who paced Brown with 113 ejections drawn last season to go with 59 goals and 31 steals.
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