2017 Brunswick Water Polo Wins Fourth Straight NEPSAC Crown
Hosting the Liquid Four, the NEPSAC Water Polo Championship, Brunswick topped Exeter in the title match, 14-6 on Saturday inside the Mehra Natatorium. The NEPSAC crown is the fourth in a row for the Bruins (23-2). Andover beat Loomis Chaffee in the consolation game, 10-8, to take third place in the 2017 Liquid Four.
In the championship match, Brunswick opened the first quarter with four goals and never looked back to claim the title. An opening backhanded goal by Kyle Yelensky started the run, as tourney MVP Thacher Scannell followed with a tally. The Bruins capped the quarter with two goals by Keegan Drew, including a tally set-up by a steal from Nico Apostolides. Brunswick goalie Christian Hartch made a pair of excellent saves in the final minute of the quarter to keep Exeter off the scoreboard.
Brunswick netted four more goals in the second quarter, before Exeter answered with its lone goal before the half. Apostolides netted a goal to open the run, as Yelensky, Drew and Peter Mullen added solo markers, giving Brunswick an 8-0 lead with 1:39 left in the half.
A cross-cage skip shot by Exeter’s Jamie Cassidy halted the Brunswick run, as the Bruins took an 8-1 lead into the break.
Following a 5-meter penalty shot goal by Exeter’s Taylor Walshe to start the third quarter, Brunswick countered with another four-goal burst to take a commanding 12-2 lead.
Scannell started the run with a cross-cage tally. Simon Derby netted the next two goals for Brunswick, before Scannell set-up the final goal of the run with a steal that resulted in a fast-break score by Tate Robinson.
Cassidy netted another goal for Exeter to cap the third quarter, as the Bruins took a 12-3 lead into the final frame of the championship.
Jake Charney added a solo marker for Brunswick to open the fourth quarter off an assist by Danny Taylor.
Following a goal by Exeter’s Jackson Parell, Taylor countered for the Bruins, giving the hosts a 14-4 lead. Exeter (14-3) finished with goals by Harry Saunders and Parell to wrap up the scoring, as the Bruins swam away with the 14-6 victory and their fourth-straight NEPSAC title.
Exeter 0 1 2 3 - 6
Brunswick 4 4 4 2 - 14
Exeter: Jamie Cassidy: 2, Jackson Parrell: 2, Taylor Walshe: 1, Harry Saunders: 1
Brunswick: Keegan Drew: 3, Thacher Scannell: 2, Simon Derby: 2, Kyle Yelensky: 2, Nico Apostolides: 1, Tate Robinson: 1, Peter Mullen: 1, Jake Charney: 1, Danny Taylor: 1
Exeter: Will Soltas: 11
Brunswick: Christian Hartch: 14
1. Michael Gorgan – Loomis
2. Neil Simpson – Andover
3. Taylor Walshe – Exeter
4. Jamie Cassidy – Exeter
5. Keegan Drew – Brunswick
6. Simon Derby – Brunswick
7. Goalie: Christian Hartch – Brunswick
8. Goalie: Will Soltas – Exeter
MVP: Thacher Scannell - Brunswick
In the first semifinal, the top-seeded Bruins, jumped out to a 5-1 lead over the fourth-seed Loomis Chafee after one quarter. Brunswick extended its lead to 9-2 at the half and closed out the game with a 10-0 run for a dominating 19-2 victory.
Brunswick used balanced scoring, as six Bruins netted multiple goals, led by Drew’s three tallies, as six others scored one goal.
Hartch made nine saves for Brunswick, as reserve goalie Koo Delany made one stop in the victory.
Brunswick 5 4 6 4 - 19
Loomis 1 1 0 0 - 2
Loomis: CJ Owen: 1, Michael Gorgan: 1
Brunswick: Keegan Drew: 3, Peter Mullen: 2, Tim Saunders: 2, Thacher Scannell: 2, Simon Derby: 2, Tate Robinson: 2, Nico Apostolides: 1, Michael O’Malley: 1, Gavin Molloy: 1, Danny Taylor: 1, Ned Camel: 1, Max Charney: 1
Loomis: David Chatson: 12
Brunswick: Christian Hartch: 9, Koo Delany: 1
In the second semifinal, #2 Exeter topped #3 Andover 11-3. Exeter scored three goals in each of the first two quarters, while keeping Andover scoreless in the first half. Exeter extended its lead to 8-0 after three quarters, cruising to an 11-3 win to advance to the finals.
Walsh led all scorers with five goals for Exeter, as Cassidy netted three goals.
Exeter 3 3 2 3 -11
Andover 0 0 0 3 - 3
Exeter: Taylor Walshe: 5, Jamie Cassidy: 3, Jackson Parell: 2, Harry Saunders: 1
Andover: Jacob Hudgins: 1, Nicolas Isenhower: 1, Neil Simpson: 1
Exeter: Will Soltas: 10
Andover: Thomas Glover: 8
The third-place game saw Andover take a 7-4 lead at the intermission. Loomis Chaffee sliced the deficit to 9-7 after three quarters. Each team netted solo tallies in the fourth frame, as Andover held on to win 10-8. Andover finishes the season with an 11-4 mark, while Loomis Chaffee wraps up the season at 15-6.
Loomis 2 2 3 1 - 8
Andover 3 4 2 1 - 10
Loomis: Michael Gorgan: 5, Jordan Chen: 1, Ryan Durkin: 1, Laith Hijazi: 1
Andover: Eric Osband: 3, Neil Simpson: 4, Nathaniel Smith: 1, Nicholas Isenhower: 1
Loomis: Angus Hawley: 13
Andover: Thomas Glover: 7