MONMOUTH, Ill. — The McKendree University men’s water polo team defeated host Monmouth College by a 17-11 final score at Pepper Natatorium to lock-up the No. 6 seed for the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC)-West Region Championship at the Hallman Aquatics Center in Erie, Pa.
The Bearcats closed out regular season play with a win to give the team an overall record of 6-16 and a 2-5 league mark to rate behind Gannon University (7-0), Mercyhurst University (6-1), Salem International University (4-3), Connecticut College (4-3) and La Salle University (4-3), but ahead of Monmouth (1-6) and Washington & Jefferson College (0-7) for the MAWPC-West Championship on Saturday-Sunday, November 4-5.
In both teams’ regular season league finale, the Bearcats took a lead and never looked back.
McKendree scored four times before the Fighting Scots could answer and added one more goal for good measure to take a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Bearcats displayed a balanced offense in the quarter with five different goal scorers including sophomore attacker Joseph Mahan (Corinth, Texas/John H. Guyer), freshman defender Brandon Kavanaugh (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Mundelein Cons.), sophomore attacker Michael Krause (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis University), freshman utility player Sean Legg (Ottawa, Ontario) and sophomore attacker Jackson Smith (McHenry, Ill./McHenry West High).
Mahan netted his second of the contest to open the second quarter on a five-meter penalty shot. The Fighting Scots answered with three goals of their own to cut the Bearcats lead down to two. Two quick goals from McKendree sophomore attacker Luc Gregory (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach) gave the Bearcats an 8-4 lead. Monmouth answered, but goals from Krause and Mahan would extend the lead to five. The Fighting Scots were able to find the back of the net before the end of the second quarter to draw the score closer, with the Bearcats leading 10-6 heading into half time.
Gregory opened the scoring in the third quarter, but the Fighting Scots responded with a goal of their own. McKendree answered with four goals before Monmouth could add another, taking a 15-8 lead at the end of the third quarter. Gregory, Krause, Mahan and Smith found the back of the net for the Bearcats.
McKendree added two goals in the fourth quarter from the hands of Mahan and Smith, while the Fighting Scots scored three, for the 17-11 finale.
Information courtesy McKendree University Athletics Communications