GW Men's Water Polo Gears Up for CWPA Championship

Freshman Matt Taylor boasts a .566 save percentage in goal this season.


Nov. 19, 2015

GW Men's Water Polo at CWPA Championship
WHEN Friday-Sunday, Nov. 20-22
LOCATION MIT's Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center/Alumni Pool, Cambridge, Mass.
COVERAGE Tournament Central | Watch Live | @GW_WaterPolo
TICKETS Ticket Info

SETTING THE STAGE: The George Washington men's water polo team heads to Cambridge, Massachusetts, this weekend for the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship. The three-day, 12-team event will take place from Nov. 20-22 at MIT's Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center/Alumni Pool.

GW (7-20) will be the No. 10 seed in the tournament and will take on seventh-seeded and 15th-ranked Bucknell on Friday at 11:20 a.m. The winner will face second-seeded and 11th-ranked Princeton at 4:40 p.m., while the loser will square off with the loser of Friday's Navy/Washington & Jefferson contest on Saturday at 12:40 p.m. The remainder of the weekends schedule will be determined by results, concluding with placement games on Sunday.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: The winner of the CWPA Championship will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

HOW THEY GOT THERE: GW secured an automatic berth to the CWPA Championship be placing fifth at the CWPA Southern Division Championship two weeks ago.

LAST YEAR AT CWPAs: GW placed eighth at the 2014 CWPA Championship at Navy. The Colonials defeated Fordham, 11-8, in the opening game before falling to three straight ranked opponents. Then-junior Bogdan Petkovic was selected to the All-Tournament Second team after scoring a team-best 13 goals. Brown won the 2014 league title with a 7-6 win over Princeton.

LAST TIME OUT: GW went 3-1 at the Southern Division Championship to take fifth place. The Colonials fell to Navy in the opener before downing Monmouth (17-6), Gannon (16-7) and Washington & Jefferson (14-9) by a combined 47-22. Sophomore Duke Becker paced GW with eight goals and added three assists and four steals, while sophomore Noah McKinne Braun totaled seven goals and three assists and freshman goalkeeper Matt Taylor recorded 41 saves.

UNDERCLASSMEN ON TOP: GW freshmen and sophomores have accounted for nearly 86 percent of GW's 280 goals this season, led by sophomore Pierce Deamer (59), who also paces the Colonials with 29 assists, 88 points and 47 ejections drawn on the year. Freshman Brett Else is tops on the team with 48 steals and Braun has recorded a team-high 12 field blocks. In all, six of GW's seven 20-goal scorers this season are underclassmen, with senior Jonah Dowd (30) the only upperclassman in the mix.

The trend continues in the cage, where Taylor boasts a team-best .566 save percentage with 137 saves.

SCOUTING THE BISON: Ranked 15th nationally, Bucknell (15-11) placed fourth at the Southern Division Championship, downing Washington & Jefferson and Penn State-Behrend before falling to Johns Hopkins and Navy. Stefan Aleksic leads the Bison with 57 goals, 83 points and 58 steals this season, while Sean Daley is right behind him with 79 points on 31 goals and a team-high 48 assists to go with 45 steals. Jeff Hagen (51) has also topped the 50-goal mark for the Bison while leading the team with 65 ejections drawn. Charlie Niehaus has seen the majority of minutes in the cage and boasts a .483 save percentage with 221 stops. Bucknell took fifth place at the 2014 CWPA Championship.

GW VS. BUCKNELL: The Bison lead the all-time series with the Colonials, 48-14, including a pair of wins earlier this season. GW took Bucknell to overtime at home in September before falling, 14-12. Deamer has scored 13 goals in five career games against the Bison.



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