Water Polo Faces Top Competition, Constantly Improving

by Nolan Silbernagel
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Fordham Water Polo Faces Top 20 Teams

The Fordham Men’s Water Polo team started their season at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Maryland earlier this month, where they dropped their final game of the tournament to George Washington, 11-10, in overtime. Most teams would lament on the hard loss, but the 2011 squad has kept a positive outlook on not only that opening weekend, but on their season as a whole.

“Obviously we want to win every game, but we look back on those games and try to build on it” said senior goalkeeper Christian Flessner.

“We had some injuries heading into that weekend but that’s obviously no excuse. We don’t like to lose but it was a great evaluation of our team” remarked Head Coach Bill Harris.

Unfortunately for the Rams, their schedule only got harder as the season progressed. They faced 17th nationally ranked Princeton twice, 14th ranked Santa Clara, and 16th ranked Bucknell. Fordham lost all of these contests but they did not let the final score effect their psyche.

“It was cool to play some of the top schools in the nation and we definitely learned from our mistakes” said senior J.D Shrewsbury. “The contests were actually closer than the scores showed. We were tied with Princeton and Bucknell heading into the second half and were only down by one goal to Santa Clara after halftime. All these games were beneficial to our team development.”

The Water Polo team was also hit hard by graduation, headlined by the departure of Ali Arat who scored the second most goals in team history last season (91). This year’s squad is being led by previously mentioned Flessner, Shrewsbury, and fellow captain Andrew McKernin. And despite losing a lot of talent, the Rams are convinced that their team chemistry is even better than last year.

“We’re a hungry team.” Shrewsbury remarked, “We want to go out and show our conference we’re ready to play hard. The team is excited for the start of divisional play.”

Players to Watch:

Junior Bobby Flemming has received high praise from Coach Harris, saying he has come up with clutch performances so far in the season. The Rams will need Flemming to continue to come up big as the Rams try to get off to a good start in divisional play.
Freshman goalie Noah LeBeau has also caught the coach’s eyes and has split time with Flessner in front of the net so far this season. Harris said Flessner, who set a single season record for saves last season, has been a great mentor to LeBeau.

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