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Men’s water polo opens season, prepares for next home tournament

Shockley’s ’14 steals and saves in a win over Harvard bolstered the weekend play

By
Sports Staff Writer
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The No. 16 men’s water polo team played five matches this weekend, finishing Sunday with a 3-2 record at the Bruno Fall Classic held in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.

The Bears faced off Saturday against the Connecticut College Camels, the No. 3 Stanford University Cardinal and the Harvard Crimson.

Bruno went up against Stanford in the first match of the season, trailing by a short 5-2 deficit after one quarter of play against the highly ranked squad. But the Cardinal took command of the game, limiting the Bears to only one more goal for the rest of the match. The game ended with a 23-3 loss after Stanford scored 18 more goals.

The afternoon resumed with a match against Connecticut College, showcasing noteworthy performances by Nick Deaver ’15 and Matty Gallas ’16. Both players added three goals and four steals en route to a 17-5 Bruno victory over the Camels.

The last match of the day featured a late-game rally by the Bears over the Crimson. The team trailed 7-4 in the fourth quarter when a strong performance by Walter Shockley ’14, who boasted two steals and 11 saves, sparked a surge of momentum. Shockley’s performance, along with last minute goals by Gallas and Warren Smith ’17, helped the Bears to a 9-8 victory over Harvard.

“It was really exciting, especially since they are our Ivy League rival,” Shockley said. “It taught us that we need to start the game with the same intensity with which we finish.”

On day two of the Bruno Fall Classic, the squad’s first match was against the No. 9 University of California at Irvine Anteaters, followed by an afternoon game featuring the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Anteaters held a commanding 10-1 lead over the Bears. Despite a spark in offense late in the game, Bruno still fell short, 14-7, against UC Irvine. The Anteaters finished the tournament undefeated, with a 4-0 record.

In the final game of the tournament, the Bears topped the Presidents with a 13-3 win. The squad finished the second quarter with a two-goal lead, 4-2. But a stifling second half only allowed Washington and Jefferson to score once more — a decisive note to end the tournament for the Bears. The game featured another strong performance by Deaver, who added three goals and six steals.

“Overall, we need to be more aggressive in the water,” Shockley said. “We’ll be focusing on that during practice this week — should be fun.”

Bruno’s efforts continue this weekend here on College Hill when he will host the Bruno Fall Invitational. The Bears will face the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers, the Navy Midshipmen and three other teams over the course of the weekend.