Photo by Michael Wong
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Sept. 4, 2016) – Senior Chris Bradley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / Junipero Serra) started his final year banging in 17 goals over the Caltech men's water polo team's first four matches at the Navy Open, which included a season-opening 16-13 win over Penn State-Behrend.
Sophomore Eshan Govil (Redwood City, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) and Charles Ross (Wexford, Pa. / North Allegheny) proved ready and willing to step right into the offensive holes left by the graduated James Blackwood and Patric Eck, notching a combined 17 goals and dishing out a further four assists. Freshman Bradley Justice (El Cajon, Calif. / Grossmont) also made a case for more time in goal after recording a .500 save percentage within a three-goalie split over the weekend.
Caltech 16, PS-Behrend 13
The Beavers gave up the first goal of the game, but responded immediately with a five-goal onslaught. Govil quickly completed his second career hat trick at just the 6:34 mark in the second quarter as Caltech built up a four-goal lead by halftime that would reach a high of six at 15-9 before a last-gasp PSB rally attempt fell short. Although Bradley was shut out in both the second and fourth quarters, he still managed to score five on an efficient seven shots, while Ross chucked in four strikes. Justice chipped in with four assists while sophomore Shaurya Gilani (Chicago, Ill. / Adlai Stevenson) stopped eight shots while allowing just seven goals in the second half and recording an incredible eight steals.
Caltech 8, Salem International 20
Salem Int'l burst out of the blocks to take a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and extended the margin to 10 by halftime. Another five goals from Bradley and two more from Govil fueled Caltech as the Beavers posted a 4-2 advantage in the final quarter, but the game was well out of reach by that point. Junior Richard May (Guilford, Conn. / Choate Rosemary) added a pair of assists while senior Tomas Tussie (Weston, Fla. / Cypress Bay) drew a weekend-high four of his total 12 exclusions.
Caltech 9, La Salle 16
The Beavers did well to hold their own against the Explorers, particularly in the first quarter as they trailed just 5-4. A five-goal halftime deficit proved too much to overcome, however, despite a 3-2 edge in the third quarter trimming the margin. Another four goals and two assists from Bradley as well as a Tussie brace keyed the Caltech attack, while Justice impressed with eight saves against just six goals allowed in the second half.
Caltech 7, Navy 27
The hosts never gave Head Coach Jon Bonafede's squad a chance in the weekend finale, holding the Beavers scoreless in the first quarter and dropping the hammer with a 19-4 advantage in the second half. Caltech showed well with a 3-3 stalemate in the second quarter, with Justice again shouldering the defensive burden with aplomb as he stopped six of 13 shots faced. Bradley made it a perfect four hat tricks in four games while Govil and Ross each bagged a brace.
Bonafede and the Beavers return to Southern California for next weekend's Citrus College Tournament, where they will face Grossmont College, Santa Monica College and hists Citrus and Mt. Sac.