BRONX, N.Y. – The Navy water polo team (10-12, 5-6) dropped a pair of Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference games on Saturday in New York. The Midshipmen started the day against Wagner (14-11, 8-5), falling 13-11 before closing out the twin bill at No. 17 Fordham (17-6, 11-0), dropping a 14-7 decision.
“Today was a tough one,” head coach Luis Nicolao said. “We struggled to score goals and didn’t play particularly well on defense. You can’t do that against anyone and expect to win. You really can’t do that against good teams and expect to win. We have had a lot of road games in a row so we are looking ahead to next weekend when we get a chance to play at home in front of our fans.”
Michael Heller (Menlo Park, Calif.) paced the offense with five goals on the day, while Jake Altmayer (Pasadena, Calif.) added three scores. Chris Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Tommy McKnew (Tiburon, Calif.) notched a pair of goals apiece, while Travis Berzins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Will Clark (Laguna Beach, Calif.), Payton Comstock (Clarendon Hills, Ill.), Nathan Duchez (San Jose, Calif.), Peter Hillen (Orinda, Calif.), and Hayden Kahn (San Clemente, Calif.) rounded out the scoring.
Defensively, Caden Capobianco (Laguna Beach, Calif.) led the way at goal. The junior finished with 18 saves on the day, including a 12-stop performance against No. 17 Fordham. Jack Hightower (San Diego, Calif.) added a save, seeing action against the Rams.
Navy returns home next weekend for two of the final four home games. The Mids will host a conference tilt with Johns Hopkins (Friday, 7:30 p.m.) before continuing the weekend with a home match against George Washington (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.). Both games will be live streamed.
Game 1 Recap: Wagner 13, Navy 11
Berzins got the Midshipmen on the scoreboard to start the game against the Seahawks. Wagner responded with back-to-back goals to close out the first quarter, taking a 2-1 advantage. The home team pushed its advantage to three goals in the second quarter. Heller started the quarter, knotting the game with his first score of the day. Three straight goals by Wagner put the home team in front 5-2, but Navy countered with a Clark goal. Following a Seahawks goal, Altmayer found the back of the net to trim the margin to 6-4. Kim cut the margin to one, but back-to-back Wagner goals pushed its advantage to three, 8-5.
The second half started with a Heller goal, but consecutive scores by Wagner pushed the home team’s advantage to 10-6. Kim and Duchez scored two of the next three goals, but the Seahawks used a pair of goals to take a 13-9 lead into the final quarter of play. Navy closed the gap with fourth-quarter goals by Comstock and McKnew, but would get no closer, dropping the 13-11 contest.
Game 2 Recap: #17 Fordham 14, Navy 7
The Mids and the Rams started out by trading goals in the first quarter, finishing the period knotted at three. Heller and Hillen opened up the scoring, while McKnew rounded out first-quarter scoring to give Navy three goals. The second quarter saw the nationally-ranked home team outscore the Midshipmen, 5-1, to take an 8-4 lead into halftime. Altmayer managed the Mids’ lone goal in the second period.
The two teams traded goals in the third quarter. Heller and Kahn scored goals in the quarter, matching the two scores by the Rams. Fordham used a 4-1 fourth quarter to provide the final margin of 14-7. Altmayer once again scored the Mids’ goal in the period.