The 19th-ranked men's water polo team finished first in tournament play at the Collegiate Water Polo Association North-South Challenge this weekend, triumphing over No. 20 St. Francis University 9-8 in the championship match.
Earlier in tournament matches, the squad defeated Princeton 10-9 and George Washington University 18-7.
Those victories brought the Bears to the final match against rival St. Francis, who had already lost a close game to Bruno at this year's Labor Day Tournament. Though the Terriers were ahead at halftime, the Bears managed to come away with another win, outscoring the Terriers 6-4 in the second half of the match. Goalkeeper Walker Shockley '14 led the defensive effort with 10 saves, while Henry Fox '15 led the offense with three goals.
Forward James McNamara '14 said the Bears were better rested and "more mentally prepared" this week after coming off of a 3-2 showing at the Princeton Invitational.
In the semifinal, the Bears also turned up the engines late in the match, as they outscored the Tigers 3-1 in the final quarter to grab the win. Fox led the Bears with four goals. Nick Deaver '15 added three, and Matty Gallas '16, Cyrus Mojdehi '12.5 and captain Svetozar Stefanovic '13 each scored once.
Stefanovic led the offensive onslaught against the GW Colonials with seven goals. Mojdehi added three more, and Dean Serure '13 and McNamara had two goals each.
Though McNamara said the team took positives out of the Challenge victory, the Bears' focus remains on larger prizes.
"We need to keep improving. It's all preparation for that final weekend," he said, referring to the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championship at Princeton Nov. 16-18.
Next weekend, the team returns home to face Connecticut College and, for the third time this year, St. Francis.