The Gannon University men’s water polo team may have lost to Mercyhurst this weekend in the CWPA Division II rematch with a final score of 15-14, but the Knights did not go down without leaving some major impressions.
From the start of the game, Gannon came in strong with a massive crowd and a focused demeanor. Family and faculty showed up in support of the Knights in their fight against the Lakers. Gannon students also showed up in waves to the Mercyhurst matchup and the crowd was even bigger – filling the pool area to the brim. Coach Don Sherman said the atmosphere at the contest was electric.
“Standing room only, upstairs and downstairs…it was awesome. The guys feed on that,” Sherman said.
Senior Captain Raz Yuval led Gannon’s scoring with five goals and netted his 100th career goal, adding even more energy to the crowd and the game.
“It’s an amazing feeling, but I care more about us winning than how many goals I scored,” Yuval said. “We really appreciate all of the students and Erie polo fans who came to watch and support us.
“It’s definitely more fun to play in that kind of atmosphere.”
This is only Yuval’s second season with the Knights and he is keeping up with his impressive previous record – having been ranked 17th all-time at Gannon by the end of last season, with 71 goals and 82 steals.
“I’m trying to contribute to the team as much as I can with goals, assists and strong defense,” Yuval said, and his efforts do not go unnoticed.
“He deserves it,” Sherman said. “He goes out there and plays hard, both defensively and offensively.
“He’s a very strong leader and he really gets the guys pumped up. In a game he’ll talk to his teammates and in practice he’ll help them and he knows what it takes to win and what he has to do.”
The Knights went on to defeat Penn State Behrend 16-10 Saturday and Monmouth College 19-9 Sunday over a busy weekend of CWPA action.
The Knights will take to the pool next in a rematch against rival Mercyhurst and Salem International on Saturday in the Gannon Tournament. The Knights will start at 3 p.m., facing the Lakers for the third time this season and end with a matchup against Salem International at 7 p.m.