(Erie, PA) The Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo Team is off to another fast start at the beginning of a season, scoring 107 goals in its first six games.
The recently completed Eastern trip to Erie, Pennsylvania netted 84 goals and four wins in five games in three days in the Mercyhurst University Tournament.
The whirlwind trip began with a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday (Sept. 13), which was followed with wins over Washington & Jefferson University (23-4) and host Mercyhurst (18-12).
A third consecutive win came against the University of Toronto (13-11) in a lone game on Saturday (Sept. 14). Mt. SAC split a pair of games on Sunday (Sept. 15), losing a close game to Gannon University, 14-13 and won the final game of the trip over Penn State Behrend, 17-4.
Leading the way for the Mounties (5-1) in the five games was freshman attacker Kyle Green with 14 goals. Three players had 10 each - Ian Tauer, Noah Brokaw and Brandon Shew, while Jarrett Barker and Justin Wakefield scored eight and six, respectively.
Game #1 Mt. SAC 23, Washington & Jefferson 4
Wakefield led all scorers with four goals and a game-high five steals, followed by Green, Brokaw and Tauer with three goals each. Nicholas Fabrega had four steals.
The Mounties, who received a No. 9 pre-season ranking by KAP7, started fast with seven goals in the first period and had a big third period with nine goals.
Goalie Andres Mercado, who stopped eight of 11 shots in goal, got the win for the Mounties.
Game #2 Mt. SAC 18, Mercyhurst 12
Tauer had a team-high four goals for the Mounties, followed by Shew with three goals and three steals.
In a much closer contest, the Mounties held a one-goal lead late in the third period, 11-10. Attacker Dillon Mannion gave Mt. SAC a two-goal lead, 12-10 with 45 seconds left in the period. That carried over to the fourth period as the Mounties outscored Mercyhurst, 6-2 to put the game away.
Mercado picked up his second win of the day in goal for the Mounties.
Game #3 Mt. SAC 13, Toronto 11
A third different Mountie led the scoring, as Green had four goals, four assists and a steal in the game. Shew added three goals, two assists and led the team with four steals.
Mt. SAC held a two-goal, 11-9 lead heading into the fourth period, but that quickly disappeared as Toronto tied the game at 11-11 in the first two minutes.
With 5:36 left in the game, Mt. SAC took the lead for good, 12-11, on a power play goal by center Brandon Knapp, assisted by attacker Noah Slack. The Mounties once again took a two goal lead, 13-11, with 3:17 left by Shew (Mannion).
Mt. SAC goalie Raphael Mutuc made two saves in the last two minutes to preserve the victory.
Game #4 Gannon University 14, Mt. SAC 13
For the second time in two days Green led the Mounties in scoring with four goals. Barker and Tauer had three and two, respectively.
Mt. SAC took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Tauer in the first minute of the game. But it was all Gannon the rest of the period as they scored six unanswered goals to take a 6-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Mounties outscored Gannon, 3-2 in the second period and 4-2 in the third to trail by two, 10-8, heading into the final period. Shew and Barker each scored early in the period to tie the game at 10-10.
Goals by Tauer and Green later in the period twice gave the Mounties a one-goal lead in the back-and-forth period.
With Gannon leading, 12-11, and 4:41 remaining, consecutive goals by Barker and Green gave the Mounties a one-goal, 13-12 lead with 3:54 remaining. Less than a minute later, Gannon's top goal scorer, Anthony Squeglia, tied the game at 13-13 and with 12 seconds left in the game, he put home the game winner.
Game #5 Mt. SAC 17, Penn State Behrend 4
Brokaw had a game-high four goals, to reach 10 for the three-day tourney, while Barker (3 Steals) and Shew scored two each.
After a close, 3-2 game in the opening period, Mt. SAC extended its one-goal lead with six consecutive goals in the second period and took a commanding, 9-2 lead at the half. Penn State Behrend committed eleven turnovers in the second half and the Mounties outscored them 8-2 for the easy victory.
This Friday and Saturday (Sept. 20, 21), the 46th Annual Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo Tournament will take place at The Marie T. Mills Aquatic Center. Ten teams will participate in the two-day event.
Mt. SAC will play Southwestern College on Friday at 8:50 am and Fullerton at 3:50 pm.
Follow Mt. SAC Men's Water Polo on twitter @mtsacaquatics
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.