California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Heartbreak in pool for water polo team

    After a tough battle in the water Thursday evening, the Kingsmen fell to powerhouse St. Francis (NY) in the last two seconds of an intense double-overtime battle.

    An early 5-2 lead held by the Kingsmen after the first quarter suggested imminent victory for the swift team.

    However, the tone set by CLU in the beginning of the game was matched as St. Francis turned up the heat in the pool.

    Despite the loss, senior captain Dejan Novakovic was not messing around. Novakovic showed why he was named as CLUโ€™s Athlete of the Week last weekd by quickly netting two goals in the first eight minutes of the contest, contributing to his total of eight goals in the day.

    He was accompanied by solid defense from senior goalkeeper Danny Mock, who tallied up 12 saves throughout the battle, and freshmanย  AJ Franklin, who had three steals.

    The Kingsmen struggled all game to stop St. Francisโ€™ offensive strategies.

    The Terriers went on a 4-0 run to start the second quarter, quickly putting them ahead 6-5. Numerous players who accompanied the strong southpaw supported St. Francis senior Marko Gencic, who rallied up an impressive six goals throughout the contest.

    Late scoring became a trend for the Kingsmen. Spencer McGrath and Kyle Norheim kept CLU in striking distance, putting them up 7-6 after two quarters of play.

    St. Francisโ€™ scoring arsenal continually proved to be commanding. Numerous players contributed to the scoring action as four different players recorded goals.

    Derrick Graham and Novakovic still kept CLU within range after two late goals in the third quarter.

    A strong offensive tide swirled for the Kingsmen in the fourth quarter as George Hong, Franklin and Novakovic scored a total of four goals in the fourth quarter.

    The Kingsmen were tied with St. Francis 13-13 after regular time.

    A late overtime goal by Novakovic passed the Terrier goalkeeper, putting the Kingsmen up by one.

    St. Francisโ€™ Neil Cadra quickly answered. He squeezed a goal past Mock to put St.Francis on top with two seconds left in the contest, which ultimately led to the Kingsmen loss.

    Missed opportunities and sloppy defense plagued the Kingsmen during the course of the game.

    Novakovic expressed the need for team focus and poise.

    โ€œOur coach has been mandating no emotions out there,โ€ said Novakovic.ย  โ€œDonโ€™t worry about what the stands are doing and just keep our heads focused and do what weโ€™ve been working on in practice.โ€

    The captain expects better play and consistent effort from all of the team in order to be successful.

    โ€œWe play Mercyhurst at home next. They are not nearly as high of a skill caliber as [St. Francis] is, but itโ€™s still going to be fun and hopefully we get a win,โ€ said Novakovic.

    The 4-7 Kingsmen have many kinks to work out in practice. With the help of senior leadership and contribution up and down the roster, the Kingsmen will push for a 2012 SCIAC title.


    Nicho DellaValle
    Staff Writer
    Published on Oct. 3, 2012

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