The Gannon University men’s water polo team had its 10-game win streak snapped Sunday with a 15-12 loss to Salem International University but rebounded later in the day with a 13-11 two-overtime win over rival Mercyhurst.
Gannon now sits at 11-4 overall after beating the former CWPA Division II champion Lakers at the David M. Hallman III Event Center in Erie.
Juniors Nick Williams and Gilberto Millan each scored once in the opening period and the teams were tied at 2-2 after the first quarter.
Second-quarter goals by Millan and junior Kyle Rodewald helped the cause, but Gannon trailed 5-4 at halftime.
Millan snapped off two more goals in the third and after that period the score was tied at 7-7.
Each team scored three fourth-quarter goals to make it 10-10 at the end of regulation.
In the first overtime, Mercyhurst’s Ryan Witoslawski scored one goal, but was matched by Gannon senior Thomas Squeglia, sending the match into a second overtime.
With 1 minute, 39 seconds left in the second overtime, Zarko Sadikovic came up big with the go-ahead goal and after that Brett Rehrer added some insurance, scoring one more time to make the final score 13-11 in favor of the Knights.
Rodewald said the team played tight in regulation play, but came ready to win in both overtimes.
Gannon didn’t fare as well earlier in the day, falling to Salem International.
Millan again was a key player in the game offensively as he scored two goals in the first quarter, netting the second one as the buzzer sounded.
At the half, Gannon held an 8-7 advantage with Williams keeping the team on track with two second- quarter goals.
At the end of the third, Marko Sadikovic gave the Knights another goal at the buzzer, and Gannon headed into the fourth quarter leading 11-10.
However, the last stanza proved to be an offensive one for the Tigers, as they outscored the Knights 5-1 to earn a 15-12 lead and ultimately end Gannon’s win streak.
Rodewald said the team is looking to perform better as the end of the season nears.
“We may have lost the D2 title, but we might become a better team because of it,” Rodewald said.
For their next bout, the Knights will head over to Penn State Behrend for a noon matchup on Saturday.