ERIE, Pa. — After a wild day of action on the opening date of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Crossover event hosted by Mercyhurst University at the Hallman Aquatics Center, the Gannon University men’s water polo team was unable to come up with a victory. The Golden Knights lost for the fourth time this season to a nationally-ranked team in their opener, falling 19-10 to No. 20-ranked George Washington University prior to dropping an 18-13 decision to Bucknell University, a team receiving votes in the national poll. The latter was a rematch of last year’s Fifth Place match in the MAWPC Championship.
The Golden Knights are now 1-7 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Gannon suffered its fourth loss to a nationally-ranked teams as the Colonials of George Washington outshot Gannon 46-32 and converted on three-of-six power plays, while Gannon failed on all five chances.
George Washington jumped out to a 5-1 lead after one quarter, with Marty Kaverman Jr. (Erie, Pa./McDowell) accounting for the Gannon goal. The Golden Knights battled the Colonials on even terms over the next eight minutes but still trailed 9-4 at the half. Any comeback hopes the Golden Knights had were dashed as GW scored the first four goals of the third quarter, two on penalty shots, to build a 13-4 advantage.
Dylan Schmitzerle (Richmond, Va./Huron) led Gannon with three goals and an assist, with Alex Kotskar (Voula, Greece) adding two goals and three assists. Kaverman finished with two goals and an assist. Alvaro Marco (Madrid, Spain/IES Ortega y Gasset) was strong in cage with 12 saves.
In the final game of the weekend, the Golden Knights were primed to avenge last year’s 9-7 loss to Bucknell in the Fifth Place game of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championships, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on a pair of goals by Kotskar and one from Kaverman before Bucknell rallied to within at 5-4 after one quarter. The Bison tied the match on a power play goal with 16 seconds left in the opening quarter, but Drago Marjanovic (Belgrade, Serbia/North Allegheny (Pa.)) answered nine seconds later to push the Golden Knights ahead 5-4.
Gannon’s lead was 7-5 early in the second quarter, but the Bison ran off the final six goals of the period for an 11-7 advantage at halftime.
Seth Johnson (Sugar Hill, Georgia/Lanier) and Ben Fribourg (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) opened the third quarter with strikes as Gannon closed to 11-9, but Bucknell built the lead to 14-10 after 24 minutes. Gannon would get no closer the rest of the match as the Bison escaped with a five goal victory.
Kotskar and Fribourg led Gannon with three goals apiece. Marco had 15 saves in cage.
Release courtesy Gannon University Athletics Communications