Water polo program expands, more competitive than ever

BY JUSTIN KOZLOSKI ’13
Senior Editor

F&M has a plethora of club sports available to its students. One that has recently received a major facelift and is looking good this upcoming semester is the water polo team.

The F&M club water polo team has been at the College for just around five years but has seen massive improvements in the last two.
“We have come a long way in the last two years, from being very disorganized to very organized, and from a team of just about 10 players to now having somewhat over twenty players,” said Jack Mahoney ’14, co-captain of the F&M water polo team.

Water polo, as the name would imply, is a water sport somewhat similar to a soccer game, to put it very simplistically. Seven players play at once from each team: one goalie and six players. The premise of the game is analogous to many other team sports in that the objective is to move the ball from one end of the pool to the other and score on the opposing goal. The standard game is composed of four quarters at seven minutes of length.

The challenging part of the sport is that players have to tread water for the entire duration, while at the same time attempting to strategically place players.

“You are treading water the entire time,” Mahoney said. “You are not allowed to touch the bottom. It is one of the most physically intensive sports on the planet and oftentimes it [becomes] violent.”

An umbrella formation is the most desired strategical positioning of players in the pool, where there is one player in front of the opposing goal and five players surrounding him to allow for the highest probability of scoring.

In addition to strategizing, F&M’s team has been working hard to improve its record and overall performance.

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“Our practices and workout regiments became more serious and organized,” Mahoney said. “Basically, the team began to take things much more seriously.”

The team adopted a different attitude which has allowed them to move forward and have this improved performance.

This change in attitude has resulted in an improvement of the team’s record coming into this semester.

Before this year, the team lost every game it played. This year, in its first game, the team defeated La Salle University and members are hopeful they will be able to do the same in their next two matches against the University of Delaware and St. Joseph’s University. These schools, as well as Villanova University, Lehigh College, Millersville University, and Drexel University, are members of the eastern Mid-Atlantic division of the NCAA-recognized Collegiate Water Polo Association and are F&M’s main competitors.

While the team has been focusing on becoming more regimented, practicing 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday, they also realize they are a club sport on F&M’s academically intensive campus.

“We are pretty relaxed,” Mahoney said. “We know that school comes first. We want everyone to come to the practices, but if someone needs to miss some of the practices to get work done, we understand.”

The team had two games on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. against the University of Delaware and St. Joseph’s University, respectively, and then another game on Monday night against Millersville.

“This year, in our first game, we destroyed La Salle and I am really hoping we can do the same to the University of Delaware and St. Joseph’s,” Mahoney said.

Questions? Email Justin at jkozlosk@fandm.edu.

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