Water Polo Cruises to Victories in Tourney
Issue   |   Wed, 09/24/2014 - 01:28

After a three-year hiatus from Pratt Pool, the Amherst Club Water Polo Team hosted the UMass, Williams, Tufts and U.S. Coast Guard Academy teams at a tournament this past weekend.

The tournament was in a round robin format with each of the five teams playing two games on Saturday and Sunday.
The Yo-Ho Penguins (the water polo team’s official mascot since 1984) are coming off of a second-place finish in last year’s edition of the North Atlantic Tourney.

Despite graduating seven seniors last year, several newcomers and this weekend’s performance indicates that the Yo-Hos have a shot to claim the championship crown this year.

“This past weekend was a heartening start to the water polo season. Our captains’ dedication to the team was crucial: our daily drills paid off, and everyone got playing time. Even Yo-Ho the Penguin was spotted floating around between games,” Isa Goldberg ’17 said.

The Yo-Hos first played the Minutemen of UMass. The Yo-Hos came out shooting, building a 5-1 lead at halftime. The Yo-Hos continued their flurry, outscoring UMass 5-0 in the third quarter.

With a 11-2 win, the Penguins looked to the marquee match-up of the tournament: Tufts University.

Since 2010, the Yo-Hos have only lost to one team: Tufts. The Jumbos and Penguins met in last year’s conference championship, with the Jumbos walking away the victors.

This game proved to be a game of quarters. Much like the UMass match, Amherst came out on fire, out scoring the Jumbos 3-0. However, Tufts came back in the second quarter with two quick goals.

On a man-up possession, Captain Blaine Werner ’15 scored a clutch goal stuffing the ball into the upper right corner from outside the goal. Tufts scored twice more to end the first half with Amherst leading 5-3.

Tufts continued its onslaught in the third quarter, outscoring Amherst 4-1 to finish ahead 7-6. With the game on the line, Captains Anders Lindgren ’15 said that the Tufts team was growing much more tired than the Penguins.

This proved to be true, as Amherst left Tufts scoreless in the fourth quarter, while scoring three goals of their own to come out on top 9-7.

While senior Connor Sholtis and faculty player Chris van den Berg each scored three goals in the game, first-year goalie Nathan Ives, who held Tufts to only seven goals, was the game’s MVP.

The early penguin gets the herring. That was the motto for the early game Sunday morning against Williams.

Both teams seemed to awaken in the second quarter, but Amherst would put the Purple Sea Cows out to pasture in route to a 12-6 victory.

In the final game of the tournament, the Yo-Hos faced the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

The Yo-Hos won in a 10-6 thrashing that saw the Coast Guard put up two goals in the final minutes of the game while the bench went in to get some experience.

The team looks to prepare for the next tournament at Williams College in two weeks.