ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy water polo team (12-14, 7-8) split a day-night doubleheader on Saturday at Scott Natatorium in Annapolis, Md. The Midshipmen posted an 8-6 victory over Bucknell (12-14, 8-6) in the early game but dropped an 11-5 decision to No. 11 Fordham (22-6, 15-0) in the nightcap.

“We played hard today, and I am very happy with our effort,” head coach Luis Nicolao said. “Defensively, we did an outstanding job in the first game. We stood strong against Fordham in the first half, but eventually they were able to outscore us. We have one more regular season game at Hopkins tomorrow and then it is onto the postseason.”

Credit: Navy Athletics

Prior to the Fordham game, Navy honored its 11 seniors – Jake Altmayer (Pasadena, Calif.), Tiernan Brunner (Timonium, Md.), Jamie Cassidy (Greenwich, Conn.), Will Clark (Laguna Beach, Calif.), Payton Comstock (Clarendon Hills, Ill.), Kyle Faison (Goleta, Calif.), Jonas Greer (Los Angeles, Calif.), Peter Hillen (Orinda, Calif.), Graham Lindner (Bel Air, Md.), John Nelligan (Wayne, Pa.), and Connor Simpson (San Rafael, Calif.).

“Before the game, we honored our seniors. It is always special to reflect on the careers of the guys who have been here for four years. We were able to play all of the seniors who were healthy enough to play. When the game ended all six position players were seniors. That is a memory that they will have for years.”

Offensively, eight Midshipmen found the back of the net in the game, including four who netted multiple goals. Michael Heller (Menlo Park, Calif.) led the way with three goals on the day, while Travis Berzins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Chris Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.), and Tommy McKnew (Tiburon, Calif.) added two goals apiece. Clark, Payton Comstock (Clarendon Hills, Ill.), Hayden Kahn (San Clemente, Calif.), and Henry Williams (San Diego, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with one goal each. Altmayer led the way with three assists, while Nathan Duchez (San Jose, Calif.) added two helpers. Kim, Clark, Williams, and Rory Begin (Bakersfield, Calif.) rounded out the assists for the Midshipmen.

Defensively, Caden Capobianco (Laguna Beach, Calif.) worked a majority of the game between the posts for Navy. The junior worked a complete game against Bucknell, notching 13 saves, while surrendering just six goals. Against No. 18 Fordham, Capobianco recorded seven stops before giving way to freshman Jack Hightower (San Diego, Calif.) in the fourth quarter. Capobianco recorded five steals, while Hightower added a takeaway.

Navy continues the final weekend of the regular season with a road trip to Baltimore to face Johns Hopkins. The game between the Mids and the Blue Jays is slated for 5:00 p.m. at the Newton White Athletic Center – Natatorium. The game will be streamed live.

Game 1 Recap: Navy 8, Bucknell 6

The day opened up with a defensive battle. The Midshipmen used a 13-save performance by Capobianco to limit the Bison offense to six goals.

Navy opened up the scoring with a pair of first quarter goals. Kim put the Mids on the scoreboard and Clark closed out the period with a score. Bucknell began the second quarter with a goal, but Berzins answered with his first score of the day. The Bison trimmed the margin to one, 3-2, before halftime.

In the second half, Heller pushed the lead back to two. Back-to-back scores by Bucknell knotted the game at 4-4. Navy regained the lead as McKnew fired a shot past the goalie with 18 ticks remaining in the quarter. The fourth quarter started like the third with a Heller goal to increase the lead to two, 6-4. Berzins followed with his second score of the game to give Navy its largest lead of the game, 7-4. Bucknell trimmed the margin back to two, but Williams answered to extend the advantage back to three, 8-5. The Bison were able to cut the Mids’ lead to two, but solid defense by Navy and Capobianco ended the game at 8-6 in favor of the home team.

Game 2 Recap: #18 Fordham 11, Navy 5

In the nightcap, the Midshipmen fought hard for the first half, but the nationally-ranked Rams were able to pull away in the second half.

Fordham started the game with a goal, but Heller answered to knot the game at one. After back-to-back goals by the Rams, Kahn found the back of the net to trim the deficit to one, 3-2, before the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, Navy was the only team to score a goal as Kim scored off of a Begin pass.

In the second half, the Rams were able to pull away. The visitors outscored the Mids, 3-1, in the third quarter. McKnew scored to tie the game at 4-4, but Fordham closed out the quarter with consecutive goals. The fourth quarter saw the Rams outscore the Midshipmen, 5-1. Comstock scored the lone goal of the quarter for Navy.

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