CAMBRIDGE, Ma. – The Penn State Behrend men's water polo team split in two tough games in the CWPA Division III Championships Saturday, defeating Monmouth 16-10 and falling to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 12-3.
Kyle Frerichs (Sellersville, PA/Pennridge) led the way for the Lions (4-8) tallying three of his four goals in the opening quarter against Monmouth. Troy Valkusky (Drifton, PA/Hazleton) heavily contributed in the win notching four goals as well.
After jumping out to a 3-2 in the first quarter, Behrend never looked back. Valkusky, Mark Ercolani (North Wales, PA/North Penn) and Cameron Makin (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) each notched a one goal to push the lead to 6-4 midway through the second. The Hawks found the back of the net to bring the score within one, but Bruce Bursiek (Houston, TX/Cy-Fair High School) and Grant Garcia (Kingsburg, CA/Kingsburg) would combine to add three unanswered goals just before halftime to make the score 9-5.
The Lions continued their offensive firepower through the second half with the help of Valkusky, Frerichs, Garcia, and Davis Kraft (Houston, TX/Langham Creek). Behrend would go on a 4-2 throughout the third quarter to push the lead to 13-7. Garcia would tally three assists while Frerichs, Makin, and Isaak Hatopp (Saline, MI/Saline) would notch two each in the match.
The Lions and Hawks washed in the fourth quarter, scoring three goals each to end the scoring 16-10. Bursiek and Hatopp would each record two steals while Matt Olimski (San Diego, CA/Otay Ranch) would make 14 saves in the match and also dish out two assists.
In the Lions second matchup of the day, MIT jumped out to an early 5-0 lead through the second quarter. Goals from Frerichs and Valkusky in the second cut the lead to two, but it was not enough to hold the Engineers off. MIT would go on a 6-1 scoring streak until the final whistle was blown to end the game.
Hatopp added another goal on the weekend while Garcia and Bursiek would record two steals a piece. Olimski accumulated 16 more saves, two steals, and an assist in the tough loss.
Behrend takes on Connecticut College tomorrow morning at 10:45 a.m. in the third place game at the CWPA Division III Championships.