BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Changes are announced for the Winter 2021 Winter Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference-Eastern Region, Northern Section schedule for the upcoming men’s water polo season.
Due to Wagner College electing not to compete during the Winter 2021 season, the MAWPC-Eastern Region, Northern Section schedule is adjusted as the group moves from a four to three team field.
Fordham University, Iona College and La Salle University remain in the grouping and will contest a nine-game regular season slate prior to a pair of Northern-Southern Section crossover events on Saturday, February 27, at sites to be determined.
League competition will commence on Saturday, February 6, at the Rams of Fordham host the Explorers of La Salle University in the Bronx, N.Y., for a single game.
Action returns to the Col. Francis B. Messmore Aquatic Center as the Rams will take on Empire State nemesis Iona College at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 12, prior to hosting a St. Valentine’s Day trio of games on Sunday, February 14, as the Rams take on Iona (10:00 a.m.) and La Salle (6:00 p.m.). La Salle and Iona will play the middle game of the game as the Explorers and Gaels clash at 2:00 p.m.
Competition then moves to the Keystone State of Pennsylvania as Iona makes a trek from New Rochelle, N.Y., down the New Jersey Turnpike on Wednesday, February 17, for a mid-week game in Philadelphia, Pa., at La Salle.
The regular season Northern Section slate concludes on Saturday, February 20, as Fordham rumbles with Iona (10:00 a.m.) and La Salle (6:00 p.m.) at home in the Bronx to sandwich a contest between Iona and La Salle (2:00 p.m.).
The order of finish will determine the location of the teams next contests as the runner-up and Third Place finisher in the Northern Section face the Southern Section champion in round robin games on Saturday, February 27, while the Northern Section champion battles the runner-up and Third Place finisher from the Southern Section. Host sites for the pair of round-robin battles will be determined at a later date.
The three Southern Section teams (Bucknell University, George Washington University, United States Naval Academy) along with the Northern Section trio of Fordham, Iona and La Salle and the top two teams from the MAWPC-Western Region Championship will conclude the league season on Saturday-Sunday, March 6-7, at Lejeune Hall on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., for the seven-game MAWPC Championship. Seeding for the MAWPC Championship will be conducted via a poll of the league’s Governance Council.
The victor of the MAWPC Championship earns an automatic bid to the Winter 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship slated for March 18, 20 and 21 on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. A finalized format for the NCAA Championship is pending as the Golden Coast Conference, MAWPC, NWPC, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) were all awarded automatic bids for a six team championship. However, both the NWPC and SCIAC have elected not to compete in conference schedules and the Golden Coast Conference does not meet the minimum number of teams to retain its bid, dropping the championship field down to three bids (MAWPC, MPSF, WWPA). A determination from the NCAA regarding the championship field – with the potential for an at-large team to earn a spot – is pending.