PRINCETON, N.J. – The No. 13 Navy water polo team (5-2) showcased their dominance at the Princeton Invitational, securing two impressive victories on Saturday at DeNunzio Pool in Princeton, N.J. Navy started the day with a 13-7 triumph over No. 19 Santa Clara (3-2) and followed it up with a resounding 16-8 win over Chapman (0-2).

In the first game, Navy asserted its dominance early, taking a 4-1 lead in the first quarter. Freshman Sam Collingwood led the charge with six remarkable goals and an assist, totaling seven points. Michael Heller contributed significantly with four goals and two assists, while Ivan Pang and Kiefer Black added five points to the board.

The second quarter saw Navy continue their offensive onslaught with three more goals, widening the gap to 10-3 by halftime. The Mids’ defense held firm in the third quarter, shutting out Santa Clara and adding two more goals to their tally.

Santa Clara made a late push in the final period, but Navy’s early lead proved impossible, resulting in a final score of 13-7 in favor of the Midshipmen. Nathan Duchez also completed his hat trick during this game, contributing to Navy’s impressive victory.

In the afternoon matchup against Chapman, Navy’s Sam Collingwood once again stole the show, scoring five goals. The game started with Chapman taking an early lead, but Navy quickly responded, gaining a 5-3 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

The Mids continued to control the game in the second quarter, extending their lead to 9-5 by halftime. Michael Heller and Hayden Kahn added to the scoring, while Chapman attempted a comeback with two goals.

Navy’s offense remained relentless in the third quarter, with Collingwood finding the net twice and securing a comfortable 12-6 lead. In the final period, Navy put the game beyond reach, closing it out with a 16-8 victory. Aiden Day contributed significantly with two goals, cementing Navy’s second win of the day.

Head coach Luis Nicolao praised his team’s performance: “It is always a good day when you can win a couple of games. We started the day with a tough Santa Clara team, but we were able to make some plays and pick up the win. In the last game, we started a little slow after a big gap in between games, but the guys made some plays, and we were able to come away with another win.”

During the day’s competition, the Navy showcased their depth as 13 players found the back of the net. Caden Capobianco was stellar in goal, recording 19 saves and eight steals across both games.

Navy’s successful day at the Princeton Invitational sets the stage for their upcoming conference play against Wagner (4-3) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The Midshipmen will aim to carry their momentum into the critical conference matchup, looking to start the conference play positively.

Navy’s water polo team demonstrated their prowess and depth during the Princeton Invitational, leaving no doubt about their potential for a successful season ahead.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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