The Mercyhurst Lakers men’s water polo team participated in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Championships during the weekend of Nov. 18-20 in Lewisburg. The team finished the tournament at 1-2, and received 7th place after beating 8th seed Connecticut College.
Bucknell University took the top spot for the tournament, followed by George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University in second and third place, respectively.
The Lakers started off the tournament with a match against George Washington, which bested them 17-6. George Washington got up on the Lakers early, and led them 7-1 entering the second half. The colonials would extend this further to 14-2 up until the last quarter when the Lakers scored four additional points. Laker Connor Schmitz had two goals for the day, while Jack Howe, Philip Jenny, Otis Tyson and Noah Ratliff had one each.
Game two saw the Lakers face off against the United States Naval Academy team in the losers circuit. After taking a 4-0 lead against Navy in the first quarter, the Lakers saw their lead vanish when their opponent came back and made the score 5-5. After some back and forth goals to tie it at seven, Navy scored three goals early in the fourth quarter to pull ahead; they would not cede the lead again. Scoring for the Lakers was Jenny with four, Alec Diaz with two and Schmitz and Howe for one each.
Game three for the Lakers was against Connecticut College for the seventh place spot. The game started with some goal trades to make it 2-2, but Connecticut then scored three unanswered to take the lead at 5-2. The Lakers would cut this down however, and halftime was reached with the Lakers only trailing 4-6.
Connecticut would go on to increase its margin by several more goals in the second half, but the Lakers rebounded and sliced the lead away to a mere 10-9 deficit entering the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter saw the Lakers take control and beat Connecticut 6-1 in scoring for the quarter. The final was 15-11, Lakers. Scores were attributed to Jenny with four, Matt Bachler and Howe with three, Joey Ryan and Schmitz for two and Tyson for one.
The Lakers finish the season with a 14-13 overall record, and with a league record of 5-2. This season also marks the first time the Lakers have won a title for the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference’s West Region Tournament.