New additions bolster Gaels rotation

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor

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The men’s water polo team is looking to step up their game this season and get the wins that they missed last season. Fourth quarter mishaps and a lack of energy made the Gaels fall short in many games both in the Northeast Water Polo Conference and in tournament play.

The Navy Open mark the first matches for the Gaels as head coach Brian Kelly looks to solidify their formation while giving everyone a chance to show their skill. The team lacked depth last season, and this season that hole is filled with six new freshmen and a healthy squad, according to Kelly.

“A lot of our guys have a lot of experience,” Kelly said. “We’re looking forward to being a much improved team over last year.”

Last season, the Gaels went 6-27 overall and 0-12 during their conference. A lack of depth alongside several injuries left the team with as little as 10 men going into a match.

“You’ve got to have minimum 14 field players,” Kelly said. “We played several games last year tied in the fourth quarter.”

Being more competitive in their play this season is a major goal for Kelly.

“This year we’re looking for wins, no question about it,” Kelly said. “It was nice to be able to compete and hang around, but this year we’re going to start to put some wins together.”

Some players who may stand out this season include senior Jorge Andres Torres, who played with the Puerto Rican national team over the summer, and senior Quinn Lloyd, who has been a dynamic scorer for the Gaels, according to Kelly. Another standout is junior Patrick Hudak, who was named an All-American Honorable Mention by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches and is expected to be one of the better centers in the country by Kelly.

 

Other players Kelly highlighted were junior Brett Hofer and junior Andrew Brozovic, who both went from single-digit goal tallies in their freshman year to 27 goals for Hofer and 40 goals for Brozovic.

“Our depth should look really good this year and we should, without question, have some really standout players,” Kelly said.

Breaking old expectations from last season and performing on the top level prove to be the Gaels’ aim for this upcoming season. Their skill will be tested greatly as they go up against national contenders in Stanford, a team who produces national and even Olympic players, as their first game at the Navy Open.

“That is a challenge that’s going to be a lot of fun for us,” Kelly said.