WASHINGTON, D.C. — In fitting fashion, Atakan Destici and Andrew Mavis led the way for the No. 19-ranked George Washington University men’s water polo in a Senior Day doubleheader at Smith Center Pool.
Destici set a career high with nine goals in a 24-15 win over Wagner College to close the day, while Mavis totaled 14 goals in the twin bill, twice matching his career high with seven scores.
Behind the play of its pair of All-America selections, the Colonials split the pair of Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC)-East Region contests, bouncing back from a 14-13 loss to No. 16 Fordham University by defeating the Seahawks in the nightcap.
It was a festive day with a pair of lively crowds as GW made its only appearance of the season in Foggy Bottom.
The Buff and Blue honored Destici, Mavis, Jordan Blosser, Heath Faulkner, Isher Gill and Matt Taylor before the opener and also unveiled their 2018 MAWPC Championship banner with the help of 2019 graduates Brett Else and Jack Kerwin.
Against Wagner, the Colonials rolled to victory behind a season-high goal total, highlighted by Destici’s heroics.
In addition to his nine goals, Destici also chipped in five assists for a career high 14 points. Eight of his goals came after halftime to help the Buff and Blue secure a comfortable victory. The Turkey native has now collected 479 points over his decorated career, good for third in program history.
GW trailed 7-5 after the opening quarter but seized the lead with a 6-2 advantage in the second quarter. The Colonials pulled away with a nine-goal third and reached their season high with four more in the fourth.
Mavis starred early, scoring five of his seven goals over the opening 16 minutes. The senior from New Jersey converted all seven of his shots and also drew three ejections.
DJ Davis (three), Andras Levai (two) and Henry Maas also contributed multi-goal efforts in the victory. Blosser celebrated his Senior Day with a goal, as well.
Taylor racked up 18 saves in his Smith Center Pool finale.
Facing Fordham, the Colonials rallied with 10 second-half goals to take a late lead in the opener, but the Rams scored the game’s final two goals to claim the thrilling victory.
GW trailed 11-7 late in the third quarter before running off five straight goals to take their first lead of the day. Davis found the net to put the Colonials up 12-11 with 3:13 remaining.
The teams went back and forth from there in a fight to the finish. GW led 13-12 on a goal by Levai with 1:52 remaining, but Fordham scored on back-to-back possessions to go in front on Oscar Nomura‘s man-up goal with 38 seconds remaining. The Colonials turned the ball over on their final opportunity looking for the equalizer.
Mavis connected on seven of his eight shots. He scored four times in the third quarter alone to keep the Colonials within striking distance.
Levai and Davis both scored twice versus Fordham, while Destici totaled a goal, four assists and three steals. Gabriele Simonti scored the other goal for the Colonials, putting home a rebound during the fourth-quarter comeback.
Release courtesy George Washington University Athletics Communications