Mids Sweep Foes on Second Day of Navy Open

Navy tops Concordia (Calif.) and St. Francis (N.Y.).

Marek Malik scored a key goal in Navy's 9-8 win over St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sunday.

Sept. 7, 2008

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 10th-ranked Navy water polo team swept its two foes during Sunday's action of the Navy Open, defeating Concordia (Calif.), 14-6, and 12th-ranked St. Francis (N.Y.), 9-8. The wins push Navy's record to 3-1 on the season.

"It was a great weekend for us in that every single guy that saw action played at least 12 quarters, most of it at a very high level," said Navy head coach Mike Schofield. "We got what we wanted this weekend in terms of playing teams at a high level and getting good experience. I want to say hats off to both California and Concordia (Calif.) to come out here. We appreciate that and are glad that we had the opportunity to play them."

The Mids won their first game of the day, topping Concordia (Calif.), 14-6. Navy led 6-2 at halftime, then blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Eagles, 6-2, en route to the eight-goal victory.

Freshman Stevie Ray (Baytown, Texas) led Navy with four goals, while Michael Mulvey (Carlsbad, Calif.), Dan Zoellick (Mokena, Ill.) and Alex Kofsky (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored twice. Brett Rajchel (Winter Park, Fla.) stopped five shots in goal.

In the nightcap, Navy rallied from a 6-5 halftime deficit, and Luke Baldwin (La Grange Park, Ill.) scored with just over two minutes left to give the Mids a 9-8 advantage. Late in the game, Kofsky made a key field block with about five seconds to play as the Terriers were on a man-up advantage to seal the one-goal victory.

The game was a physical one in that five Navy players (four starters and one key reserve) fouled out and Schofield was forced to play reserves for the last few minutes of the contest.

"It was a great team effort and we got a lot of contributions from a lot of people," said Schofield. "Kofsky, Baldwin, Zoellick, Connors (John), Hunter (Ian), LeRoy (Nathan) and Kollmann (Drew) all made very big plays for us down the stretch. They picked up the slack and were all over the place when we needed them to."

Ray scored a pair of goals to pace the Navy offensive attack, while seven other players scored one goal each. No save statistics were kept for the contest, but Schofield thought Rajchel played very well.

"Brett had a very good weekend," said Schofield. "I would say he passed the test very well."

The Mids went 3-1 during the weekend, and even though there are things to work on, Schofield saw several positives come from the four games.

"I expected us to play hard and we did. I expected us to have some rough edges and we did," said Schofield. "But I thought we played very inspired ball. We played very hard in all four games and I can't fault our effort. There are things that need to be corrected, but I was happy with our first weekend."

The Mids will head to the Princeton Invitational next weekend, beginning on Saturday. Navy will play No. 3-ranked Stanford and No. 14-ranked UC San Diego as part of its four scheduled games.


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