The Gannon University men’s water polo team added to its season-long winning streak by posting three more victories at the MAWPC Weekend, which concluded Sunday in New London, Conn.
The Knights are now 19-0 on the season going into the Mid-Atlantic Western Region Championship this weekend at the David M. Hallman III Aquatics Center in Erie.
Gannon’s 19 wins are the most in a single season in program history.
The Knights claimed two wins Saturday – 13-11 over Salem and 20-6 over rival Mercyhurst – and then capped the weekend by cruising to a 20-6 victory over host Connecticut College.
Sunday´s game saw Gannon roll to a quick 7-1 lead in the first quarter with goals from Riley Hinkley, Zarko Sadikovic, Thomas Squeglia and John Vieira.
Lucas Petzold opened the second quarter with a goal and Gannon went on to lead 10-3 at the half.
Connecticut College outscored Gannon 4-3 in the third quarter but the Knights responded by outscoring the Camels, 4-3, in the final quarter.
Sadikovic scored five goals to lead the offense while Vieira tallied three times. Petzold and Squeglia each finished with two.
The Knights outshot the Camels, 31-25.
In Saturday’s second game, Gannon used an offensive surge in the first half to take a commanding 11-3 lead before cruising to a win over Mercyhurst.
Seven players scored at least once for Gannon. Sadikovic led the way with a career-best nine goals, and he scored four of his team’s first six goals.
Hinkley added three goals while three other Knights – Tony Squeglia, Thomas Squeglia and Vieira — each contributed two goals.
Brett Rehrer sparkled in goal with 18 saves and the Knights’ defense played well, not allowing more than two goals in any one quarter of the game.
Despite the wide margin of victory, Gannon only had two more shot attempts (38-36) than the Lakers.
The Gannon powerplay was clicking throughout the match and the Knights converted six of their 10 chances.
On Saturday´s opening game against Salem, Gannon turned a 2-1 first quarter deficit into a 4-2 lead with three consecutive goals by Hinkley, Sadikovic and Thomas Squeglia.
The Knights’ strong first quarter helped them build a 6-4 lead, which they extended to 8-4 with the first two goals of the second quarter.
Hinkley responded with a goal to begin the third quarter, but Salem countered once again with back-to-back goals.
However, Gannon posted four straight goals in a span that stretched from late in the third quarter to late in the game to seize control.
Brett Rehrer made nine saves and passed out three assists to go along with two steals for Gannon.
The Knights set the previous single-season wins record in 2017 with an 18-8 mark.
In this weekend’s Mid-Atlantic Western Region Championship, the winner between McKendree University and Washington & Jefferson College will play against Gannon 3 p.m. Satruday at the Hallman Aquatics Center in Erie, Pa.
CRISTINA DEL DIEGO