The Gannon University men’s water polo team is halfway through the 2013 season, currently holding a 2-6 overall record after defeating Salem International University at Penn State Behrend 21-12, on Sept. 22.
Gannon opened its season the weekend of Sept. 7-8 with four losses when it played John Hopkins University, 19-13, George Washington University, 19-10, Bucknell University, 18-9, and Fordham University, 10-7.
Due to Gannon’s construction of the Carneval Athletic Pavilion Center, the Knights held the Sept. 20-22 games at Penn State Behrend. Gannon came away with a 2-2 record, claiming its first win against Penn State Behrend 18-6.
Junior Raz Yuval led the Knights’ offense with seven goals, and freshman Michael Squeglia finished with the second-highest goals for the game at three. Gannon’s freshman goalkeeper Danny Schneider kept the Knights’ goal protected with six total stops.
Helping to bring the final score of 18-6 for Gannon were Tommy Nimrod and Adam Wolf – each scoring two goals – and Cody Sherman, Daisuke Takagi, Jake Ouellette and Xavier Augustyniak, each scoring one goal.
On Sept. 22, Gannon scored its second overall win, 21-12, against Salem International University. Yuval set the all-time school record for most goals in a game with 11, breaking the 2002 record of 10 held by Charles Doane.
Throughout the game, Takagi scored five goals, Wolf added two while Nimrod, Squeglia and Louis Weyand claimed one goal each. Schneider and Nick Fagen kept the score low with their combined five blocks throughout the game.
Coach Don Sherman said the team has had to jell together and he believed they were doing that. He said he looks forward to the team playing its best water polo for the second half of the season.
“We have great core leaders with the captains Daisuke Takagi, Cody Sherman and Tommy Nimrod,” Sherman said.
“We have also had an impact player, Raz Yuval, who transferred from Israel and has been a great leader as well.”
Sherman said he hopes the team plays a very tight-pressure defense to help transition some turnovers into counter-attack points in the tournament on Oct. 12 at Penn State Behrend.
He said the team is going to try and push to make at least 70 percent of its man up goals and to constantly move to create opportunities.
“If we can do this, we can make a huge impact on the teams we play,” Sherman said.
The team would get the opportunity to turn its 16-11 loss against Washington and Jefferson College into a win in the tournament. Gannon will also plays Salem International University again at 5:30 p.m. the same day.