GW Men's Water Polo Embarks on Annual West Coast Swing

Sophomore Noah McKinnie Braun is one of 11 Colonials who hail from the state of California.


Sept. 30, 2015

Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament Central

GW Men's Water Polo West Coast Schedule
GW at Redlands -- Thursday, Oct. 1, 10 p.m. ET, Thompson Aquatic Center
GW vs. Chapman -- Friday, Oct. 2, 2:20 p.m. ET, Axelrood Pool, Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament | Watch Live
GW vs. Cal Lutheran -- Friday, Oct. 2, 6:20 p.m. ET, Axelrood Pool, Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament | Watch Live
GW vs. La Verne -- Saturday, Oct. 3, 12 p.m. ET, Haldeman Pool, Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament
GW at Pomona-Pitzer -- Saturday, Oct. 3, 6:15 p.m. ET, Haldeman Pool, Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament

WASHINGTON -- The George Washington men's water polo team sets out on its annual West Coast trip this week and will take on five teams in three days from Oct. 1-3.

GW (2-9, 0-3 Southern) will look to snap a five-game skid in California after opening Southern Division play with three losses to ranked opponents last weekend at the Charles E. Smith Center Pool. Using a lineup consisting entirely of freshmen and sophomores, the Colonials held a fourth-quarter lead over No. 17 Johns Hopkins on Friday night before falling, 11-8, then took No. 15 Bucknell to overtime on Saturday before dropping a 14-12 decision. GW concluded the weekend with a 14-9 loss to No. 11 Princeton on Sunday. Sophomore Pierce Deamer led the Colonials with 14 points on eight goals and six assists to go with six steals and a team-high seven ejections drawn in the three contests.

More than 93 percent of GW's goals have been scored by underclassmen this season, led by sophomore Pierce Deamer, who paces the Colonials with 29 goals, 19 assists and 48 points while ranking second on the team with 19 ejections drawn. Freshman James McLean is second on the squad with 22 goals, and rookie Jack Kerwin has recorded a team-high 22 steals to go with seven goals and 10 assists. In addition, freshman Brett Else leads the Colonials with 22 ejections drawn and ranks second with 17 steals while adding 10 goals and four assists.

Four different goalkeepers have seen time in the cage for the Buff and Blue this season. Freshman Matt Taylor boasts a team-best .605 save percentage with 49 saves, while senior Connor Dillon has stopped 44 shots.

Deamer scored six goals on last year's West Coast trip while senior Jonah Dowd had five as the Colonials went 2-3 with wins over Caltech and Occidental and losses to California Baptist, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Whittier. Junior Sander Profaci recorded 33 saves in goal while Dillon tallied 25.

Dowd is a native of Claremont, California, where the Colonials will play in the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament on Friday and Saturday. He is one of 11 Colonials who will be returning to their home state this week, including Deamer (South Pasadena), Dillon (Los Gatos), sophomore Duke Becker (La Jolla), sophomore Joe Behun (Carlsbad), sophomore Noah McKinnie Braun (San Diego), sophomore Ryan Michalko (Danville), freshman Connor Rosenberg (Oak Park), freshman Zach Slaughter (Trabuco Canyon), junior Alex Swart (Atherton) and freshman Roland Yu (San Diego).

First up for the Colonials on their West Coast swing is a visit to first-year head coach Adam Foley's alma mater, the University of Redlands, on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET in Redlands, California. The Bulldogs, who are ranked fourth in Division III, are 4-8 this season following a 2-2 showing at Stanford's Kap7 NorCal Invitational Sept. 19-20, where they picked up victories over Santa Clara and Chapman but fell to No. 2 USC and No. 12 Princeton. GW and Redlands last faced off at the 2011 Claremont Convergence, with the Bulldogs taking an 11-8 victory.

The final four games of the trip will be part of the annual Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament (formerly Claremont Convergence), co-hosted by Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

The Colonials open the tournament on Friday at 2:20 p.m. ET at CMS's Axelrood Pool against Division III No. 6 Chapman, which is also receiving votes in the national Top 20. The Panthers are 3-6 on the year and are coming off a 20-1 loss at No. 1 UCLA on Saturday. Four of Chapman's six losses have come at the hands of top-10 opponents. Willis Allen leads the Panthers with 16 goals, while Chris Garau has scored a team-high 31 points on seven goals and 24 assists while adding a team-best 16 steals.

GW and Chapman met four years in a row from 2009-12, but the teams have not faced off since the Colonials' 15-14 overtime victory at the 2012 Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament. The 2011 contest also went to overtime, with GW taking a 16-15 win in sudden death.

GW next faces Division III No. 7 California Lutheran on Friday at 6:20 p.m. ET at Axelrood Pool. The Kingsmen are 2-5 on the year after a 14-7 loss to Air Force on Friday. The Colonials and Kingsmen last met at the 2013 Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament, an 18-13 win for Cal Lutheran. Dillon stopped 11 shots in the game for GW.

The Colonials begin Saturday's action at 12 p.m. ET against Division III No. 8 La Verne at Pomona-Pitzer's Haldeman Pool. The Leopards are 4-3 on the year but have not played since an 11-7 victory over Citrus College on Sept. 16. GW last faced La Verne at the 2010 Claremont Convergence, defeating the Leopards, 10-9.

GW concludes its West Coast trip at Division III No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. ET. The Sagehens are 3-5 on the season following losses to Whittier and Loyola Marymount at the LMU Mini-Tournament on Sept. 19. Philip Clayman and Adam Ward pace their team with 12 goals apiece, while James Baker has scored 11.



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