November 5, 2010

No. 15 Navy Ready to Defend Southern Division Title this Weekend

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 15th-ranked Navy water polo team will look to defend its Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division title this weekend with it hosts the CWPA Southern Division Tournament. The Mids are the top seed and own a 21-5 overall record heading into the weekend. Navy will face the winner of Washington & Jefferson College and Penn State-Behrend on Saturday at 11:30 am.

"We are hoping to play well in our home pool and get a good turnout from the community," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We know the other teams will bring some pretty enthusiastic fans, so it should be a great atmosphere at Macdonough Hall. It’s going to be a good weekend of competition for everyone involved."

The Midshipmen earned the tournament’s top seed by virtue of their 7-1 league record, one game better than Princeton’s 6-2 mark. The Mids enter the weekend with a seven-game winning streak, posting an undefeated mark in October while jumping in the national polls from No. 18 to No. 15 in the last few weeks.

However, Navy's last loss came to Princeton University on Sept. 25 in Annapolis by a 7-6 margin. The Mids also defeated second-seeded Princeton in sudden-death overtime, 7-6, and recorded one-goal victories over Bucknell University and Johns Hopkins University during the regular season. In last weekend’s regular-season finale though, Navy won contests over George Washington University and Johns Hopkins by a combined 38-16 margin.

"We have to play well as a team and minimize our mistakes and show that we have improved over the last two months of the season. Our guys know that," added Schofield. "Now is the time to get it all put together. This is the postseason and we are looking forward to peaking and playing our best ball of the season."

Leading Navy's offensive attack is senior Luke Baldwin (La Grange Park, Ill.) with 42 goals. Conor Handley (Jr. / Naperville, Ill.) and Stevie Ray (Jr. / Baytown, Texas) have 34 goals each. Jordan Carter (Sr. / Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) is Navy's only other player over 20 goals with 22 tallies.

In goal, Anthony Gutierrez (So. / Long Beach, Calif.) owns a .520 save percentage with 145 saves and 134 goals against in 22 games of action.

Navy has dominated the CWPA Southern Division Tournament since its inception in 1993. The Mids own a 52-5 all-time record in the tournament with 12 titles, including four of the last five years (2009, 2007, 2006, 2005). Just one team, Princeton, has defeated the Midshipmen during the tournament and Navy owns a 42-0 record against all other teams outside of Princeton.

Should Navy win its first game, it would play on Saturday at 5:45 pm against the winner of Bucknell and Mercyhurst College. The title game will be played Sunday at 3:30 pm.

The top four placers in the Southern Division Tournament advance to the Eastern Championship on Nov. 19-21, in Lewisburg, Pa.

Admission is free to all games this weekend.

CWPA SOUTHERN DIVISION TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Friday, November 5, 2010
Game No. 1 8:00 pm -- (7) Gannon vs. (10) Salem International
Game No. 2 9:15 pm -- (8) Washington & Jefferson vs. (9) Penn State-Behrend

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Game No. 3 9:00 am -- (3) Johns Hopkins vs. (6) George Washington
Game No. 4 10:15 am -- (2) Princeton vs. Winner Game 1
Game No. 5 11:30 am -- (1) Navy vs. Winner Game 2
Game No. 6 12:45 pm -- (4) Bucknell vs. (5) Mercyhurst
Game No. 7 2:00 pm -- Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 5
Game No. 8 3:15 pm -- Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 4
Game No. 9 4:30 pm -- Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Game No. 10 5:45 pm -- Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game No. 11 7:00 pm -- Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 8
Game No. 12 8:15 pm -- Loser Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7

Sunday, November 7, 2010
Game No. 13 (9th) 9:30 am -- Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8
Game No. 14 (7th) 11:00 am -- Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12
Game No. 15 (5th) 12:30 pm -- Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12
Game No. 16 (3rd) 2:00 pm -- Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10
Game No. 17 (1st) 3:30 pm -- Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

Release courtesy Navy Athletic Communications


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