M. water polo falls to St. Francis again

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It was deja vu for the men’s water polo team. For the second weekend in a row, the No. 19 Bears (10-4) fell to division leader No. 13 St. Francis (12-0) on the final day of a weekend invitational.

Bruno beat both Connecticut College (0-3), 19-2, who hosted the tournament, and Queens College (5-6), 10-9. On Sunday, St. Francis handled the Bears, 14-9.  

Despite the two losses to St. Francis, Head Coach Felix Mercado is confident that his squad can beat the Terriers.

“There’s no team that is unbeatable,” Mercado said. “They’re definitely in a groove right now, but I’m hoping that next time we’ll be in a groove.”

Mercado noted that his team is capable of playing much better than what they displayed last weekend.

“Our offense is hurting our defense and we are just not putting teams away,”  he said.

Complaints aside, Mercado praised the fact that every weekend seems to bring a standout performance for a different member of his team. He attributed this to his squad’s depth.

“Last year we were more one-dimensional,” Mercado said. “I think the depth is a good thing. It makes us harder to defend against.”

Mercado cited the performance of Walker Shockley ’14, a young goalkeeper who is “working towards a starting position.” Shockley had a career-high 10 saves in net during Bruno’s blowout win against Connecticut College.

“Walker brings everything you need in a goalie,” Mercado said. “He has good size, and he can pass the ball well.”

Shockley said that as a freshman, one of his goals is to maximize the time he sees in the pool. Like his coach, the goalkeeper is certain of his team’s potential.

“I know we can beat St. Francis,” he said.  “They are definitely beatable, but they are just really intimidating.”  

Shockley complimented the older members of the team, saying that they have been “willing to help me both in the water and academically.”  

The Bears have three weeks to prepare themselves for one of the larger tests of the season — their trip to California. But Mercado is focused on Friday’s matchup with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5-3).

“Last year we beat them five times by one goal,” Mercado said. “They’re going to be looking for revenge.”

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