ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy water polo team (11-12, 6-6) received goals from nine different players, including multiple scores from five student-athletes as the Midshipmen posted a 15-11 victory over Johns Hopkins (10-18, 2-10) in Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference play on Friday night at Scott Natatorium.
“Tonight was fun,” head coach Luis Nicolao said after the game. “We were able to get out to a lead and get some people into the game. We received some contributions from across the board – some older guys, some younger guys. Defensively, I thought Jack played well at goal. We need to take this momentum into the game tomorrow and close out the weekend on a high note.”
Offensively, the Mids used goals from nine players, including scores from five student-athletes, to tally 15 goals on the night. Chris Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the charge with three goals for his second hat trick of the season. Jake Altmayer (Pasadena, Calif.), Travis Berzins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Michael Heller (Menlo Park, Calif.), and Tommy McKnew (Tiburon, Calif.) each added two scores. At the same time, Rory Begin (Bakersfield, Calif.), Payton Comstock (Clarendon Hills, Ill.), Nathan Duchez (San Jose, Calif.), and Holden Seybold (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) rounded out the scoring.
In addition to three goals, Kim paced the team with three assists. Altmayer, Begin, and Duchez added a pair of helpers apiece.
Jack Hightower (San Diego, Calif.) worked a complete game in the cage for the Midshipmen. The freshman goalkeeper finished the game with nine saves and an assist.
In the first quarter, the Midshipmen jumped out to the early lead. Heller posted the game’s first two goals to put the home team in front 2-0. The Blue Jays converted a five-meter attempt, but the Mids responded as Comstock broke the plane of the goal with a score. McKnew followed with back-to-back scores to push the advantage to 5-1. With five seconds remaining in the quarter, Seybold gave Navy a five-goal advantage, 6-1.
Johns Hopkins opened up the second quarter with back-to-back goals, but a five-meter conversion by Altmayer gave Navy a 7-3 advantage. Kim followed with a pair of goals, while Duchez added a score. The Blue Jays slipped one by the Mids’ keeper just before halftime, but the home team went into intermission in front 10-4.
The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the third, but Berzins powered his way into the middle to slam the ball in the back of the net. Navy and Hopkins traded goals to end the quarter with the Midshipmen in front, 13-7. Kim registered his third goal of the game, while Berzins notched his second score of the quarter.
The fourth quarter once again saw Hopkins begin the frame with a goal. Altmayer and Begin responded with consecutive scores. With a 15-8 advantage, Navy emptied its bench, allowing JHU to score three goals to provide the final margin of 15-11.
The Navy returns to action on Saturday, October 29, as the Midshipmen welcome George Washington (17-5, 6-1) to Scott Natatorium for a MAWPC game. The game is slated for noon and will be streamed via Stretch Live. Before the game against the Colonials (9:00 a.m.), the Midshipmen will host their annual Alumni Game. The game is open to the public.