Bouscaren ’19 helps water polo earn critical victories

Travis Bouscaren ’19 powers Bears to three wins, awarded NWPC Player of the Week

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2018

The men’s water polo team earned three crucial victories last week, beating Harvard 11-9 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 11-10 in a double-header before defeating Princeton 11-10. Travis Bouscaren ’19 delivered an exceptional performance in the pool, recording six goals, three assists and three steals for the week. He also notched the overtime game-winner against MIT to help the Bears get their season back on track.

Bouscaren, a senior from Cambridge, Massachusetts, plays center defender for Bruno and earned Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-Academic team honors in the past two seasons. For his outstanding play last week, Bouscaren was awarded Northeast Water Polo Conference Player of the Week and Brown Student-Athlete of the Week honors and has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on the big wins against Harvard, MIT and Princeton last week. How does it feel to get those victories and earn NWPC and Brown honors?

Bouscaren: Honestly, after our little rocky start to the season, it was really good (reassurance) that we’re the team that we know we can be, … so, it felt really good. We were all really desperate for a win, and the desperation for a win is what partially fueled our achievements. I’ve never gotten the Player of the Week from the (NWPC), so that was really cool to get. It was honestly an honor to get it from Brown too. While it doesn’t mean as much to me as the wins, because that’s not a team effort, it’s really cool to get recognized like that.

When did you first start playing water polo?

I first started playing water polo in my freshman year at high school. I went to Phillips (Academy) Andover, and I was always a swimmer coming in. They made every person play three sports, so I decided that I would try water polo because all of the swimmers said it was really fun. Luckily, it was much more fun than swimming, so that’s how I ended up getting recruited to Brown.

Why did you choose Brown?

A main part was the environment and the atmosphere that I got from Brown. I came on an official visit, and I just had the greatest time with the team. Unfortunately, none of those guys that I first stepped on the team with are still here. But this season, I’m trying to play in their memory because they are what made Brown Brown to me, and I want to make that same experience for my freshmen now. Also, the coach, Felix Mercado, was definitely the best coach that recruited me — most personable, most funny and just seemed like the kind of guy that I wanted to play for. Then, just meeting with the team, it just seemed like the clear choice. There was really no other option.

What has been your favorite moment of your time with the water polo team?

Honestly, this past weekend was one of my highlights at Brown. Especially as a senior, when we’re leading the team — me, (Spencer Carroll ’19) and (Santiago Nunez ’19). It’s our responsibility to keep this team in check, and we’ve been struggling to win before. But this past weekend, we really came together as a team. Everyone had the goal of winning and being the strongest team out there. To see the team come together like that was something that I was hoping for for so long, and to see it come true was my favorite memory.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I think a pre-game ritual, especially (before) that first game away from Brown, is waking up with my roommates, (Carroll) and (Nunez), and going to get (Bagel Gourmet Olé), getting a coffee from them and always debating on how much to eat. You want to eat enough to have fuel but not enough to feel fat, so we usually end up eating half to three quarters of our bagels and debating on if we need more or not.

What are some of the team’s goals moving forward for the rest of the season?

Our main goal is to win every game we play. The next game is always the most important game, and for us, that’s going to be (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges) Saturday morning. In terms of general team goals, we want to create a practice environment where everyone is excited to come play, brings energy, releases everything else that they had going on that day, comes to practice with a fresh mind and (is) ready to give it all for the team. That’s how we’re going to be better and win championships, and it’s hard to set a goal of winning championships when it’s a couple of months away, so you need to have a goal for each day. That’s coming to practice with a good attitude and making that practice as fun and competitive as it could possibly be.

What are you concentrating in and what do you hope to do after graduating?

I’m concentrating in neuroscience, and I hope to go to (medical) school. I plan on taking at least a gap year, or a year off, to study for the MCAT and maybe travel and explore the world a little bit — get away from studying and working out my brain so much before med school.

The Bears will return to action in the Harvard Invitational Saturday and are slated to play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, the University of Toronto, No. 20 Wagner College and No. 17 Bucknell University.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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