No. 18 GW Men's Water Polo Opens League Play at Home This Weekend

Ridvan Pehlivan has notched three hat tricks in his career against Bucknell.


Sept. 18, 2014

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WASHINGTON - The 18th-ranked George Washington men's water polo team opens CWPA Southern Division play this weekend with its first two home games of the season. The Colonials will host Bucknell on Saturday at 7 p.m. and No. 8 Princeton on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Charles E. Smith Center Pool.

At 6-1, GW has matched its best start in Head Coach Scott Reed's 16-year tenure as the Colonials also were 6-1 through seven games last season.

GW went 4-0 at last weekend's Bison Invitational, defeating Fordham, Salem International, Penn State Behrend and Mercyhurst by a combined 59-20. Junior Bogdan Petkovic and freshman Pierce Deamer were named Southern Division Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, for their efforts.

Senior Brian Mojica leads the Colonials with 21 goals and 31 points this season, and with 157 assists in his career, he is one shy of tying David Zenk's all-time program record. Petkovic, who ranks second on the team with 13 goals and 27 points, leads the Colonials with 14 assists and 19 steals and is two field blocks away from former teammate Guy Helman's all-time mark (55).

Junior Connor Dillon and sophomore Sander Profaci have split time in goal this season, combining for an 8.13 goals-against average and a .538 save percentage.

Bucknell (3-3, 1-0 Southern) is coming off a 3-1 weekend at its own Bison Invite last weekend, with wins over Washington & Jefferson, Johns Hopkins and Mercyhurst and a narrow overtime loss to Fordham. The Bison, who are receiving votes in the national top 20, are led by Stefan Aleksic's 18 goals and 25 points. Goalkeeper Keegan Williams has played the majority of minutes in the cage, boasting a .588 save percentage. Bucknell will visit Navy Saturday afternoon before heading to Foggy Bottom.

The Colonials and Bison split a pair of matches last season, with each team winning at home. Senior Ridvan Pehlivan has scored 14 goals with three hat tricks in his career against Bucknell, while Petkovic has 11 goals in the series. In addition, Dillon combined to make 16 saves in the two matchups last season.

Ranked eighth in the nation, Princeton opens the season 6-0 for the second year in a row. The Tigers, who were CWPA Championship runners-up in 2013, won three games at last weekend's Bruno Fall Classic hosted by Brown, defeating Cal Baptist, MIT and then-No. 8 UC-Irvine. Reigning Southern Division Player of the Week Drew Hoffenberg leads Princeton with 14 goals, 19 points and 13 ejections drawn. Goalkeepers Alex Gow and Vojislav Mitrovic have each started three games, combining to allow 51 goals while stopping 88 shots for a .633 save percentage. The Tigers will visit Southern Division rivals Johns Hopkins and Navy on Saturday before taking on GW on Sunday morning.

The Colonials lost to the Tigers twice last season, but Petkovic combined for two goals, six assists, four steals and three field blocks in the two contests, and Dillon made 15 saves. Pehlivan has scored 10 goals in his career against Princeton.

Prior to Saturday evening's match against Bucknell, the current Colonials will take on their former teammates in the annual alumni game at 2:30 p.m. as part of GW's Alumni Weekend festivities.



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