Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Head to National Championships in Fla.

WATER POLO Hoyas Head to National Championships in Fla. By eredith McCloskey Hoya Staff Writer

In its closest game of the season, the Georgetown men’s club water polo team surpassed Richmond, the team that ended the Hoyas’ past two seasons, in a 7-6 thriller, earning them Atlantic division champion honors.

After ending the past four of its seven seasons in the semi-final round, Georgetown finally clinched its first division championship. “We finally brought it all together,” Head Coach Sam Bakhshandehpour said.

“Both teams wanted it so bad, but we wanted it a little more. You could see it in their eyes that they knew they would win.”

Junior co-captain Marshall Spooner led the Hoyas’ attack, tallying three goals against Richmond.

“Marshall had an MVP-like tournament,” Bakhshandehpour said. “He was spectacular. He led the team in scoring every game.”

The first half ended with Georgetown down 2-1, marking the first time all season the Hoyas were in the hole. Georgetown gained momentum, scoring three in a row before the Spiders tied it up at four going into the final quarter. Senior Eiki Hatakeyama notched his second goal of the game to put Georgetown back on top, but Richmond quickly answered on a power play opportunity to even the score at five.

Spooner capitalized on a Georgetown power play opportunity, and senior Lee Conant tallied his second goal to give the Hoyas a more comfortable 7-5 edge with 39 seconds left to play. Richmond, however, refused to go down easily, tossing one from half tank with just under half a minute remaining, but Georgetown ran out the clock to secure the 7-6 victory and its first division championship.

Saturday, Georgetown easily bested Virgina 18-6, with eight different Hoyas scoring throughout the game. Georgetown jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first half and never looked back.

“It was over before it began,” Bakhshandehpour said. “It’s how we wanted to do it. We didn’t want to give these guys any hope of surviving.”

Spooner scored six goals for a career-high performance, and seniors Mike Mariani, Peter Freeman and Conant all added two in Georgetown’s offensive effort.

“Lee scored six goals all weekend, but his value was more his presence in the water,” Bakhshandehpour said. “He had numerous double teams. Throughout the game he would just draw players in and it would open up the way for Marshall, Eiki and Evan to get a lot of goals.”

In the semi-finals, Georgetown faced local rival and home-team favorite Maryland, in a surprisingly easy, but physical blowout 10-3 victory. Spooner led the way for the Hoyas again, scoring four.

“This was basically the most exciting weekend hands down,” Bakhshandehpour said. “We dominated Virginia. We practically shutout Maryland in front of their home crowd. It was only appropriate that to win the division championship we had to go through our archrival, Richmond. And after coming out on top it was the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced.”

Georgetown travels to Gainesville, Fla., today to match up against No. 10 Dartmouth, winners of the New England division, in the first round of the National Championship Tournament.

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