Water Polo Finishes 5–1 on West Coast Trip

Water Polo continued its impressive start to the 2021 season with a 5–1 finish on their West Coast swing as they return to the Bronx with a number of home games on the horizon.


Water Polo again demonstrates their dominance, this time on the West Coast. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Water Polo’s west coast trip has officially concluded, as they return to New York going 5–1 on the weekend. It faced off against the University of Redlands Bulldogs and Mt. San Antonio College Mounties on Thursday night, followed by its participation in the Gary Troyer Tournament, where it played four more times. 

The 16th ranked Rams opened up its first match against Redlands with six consecutive goals en route to a 12–6 victory. Freshman Jacopo Parrella took the lead in this one with three goals and three assists to go with a pair of steals. 

In its second contest on Thursday, Fordham took an early lead on Mt. San Antonio and refused to look back. By the third period, its lead had grown to an impressive 14–2, which resulted in a final score of 18–6.

On Friday, it captured two more wins. Quite possibly the most exciting match of the season was against Cal Lutheran University, which went down to the wire. Knotted at 9–9 in the final moments of regulation, freshman driver George Papanikolaou put the Rams on top through a score with just nine seconds on the clock. 

This success carried into the day’s second match, where it bested Westcliff University in the evening. This match was also a close one, with Fordham only leading 6–4 at the half. However, Fordham grabbed four of the five goals in the third quarter to take a 10–5 advantage, leading to a 13–6 final score. Freshman driver and reigning Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Rookie of the Week, Lucas Nieto Jasny led the offense with three goals, four assists and three steals. This marks the third straight week where the Rookie of the Week award has gone to a Fordham player, which previously went to George Papanikolaou and Jacopo Parrella. 

On Saturday, the Rams split its two matches. Fordham’s 14–11 win over Whittier College served as the team’s tenth straight victory. However, this streak came to an end against seventh ranked California State University, Long Beach. Fordham led 4–3 after the opening period, but LBSU gained a 6–5 edge in the second, which it comfortably controlled, handing the Rams a 12–6 loss. In total, the Rams finished the Gary Troyer Tournament with a 3–1 record.

Co-captain Hans Zdolsek had much to say about the West Coast trip and how far the team has come this season.

“Going to California and playing six games over a three-day period taught us a lot as a team. With the talent that we have this year, there is no doubt that we have the capacity to be a top contender in our conference on the east coast, and I would even argue nationally – which we managed to show in our last game in California against the seventh-ranked Long Beach.” 

Fordham has officially wrapped up its tournament play, with the bulk of the remaining schedule being in the conference. With nine of its final 11 games in the MAWPC,  the Rams currently boast a perfect 3–0 record. Next, they host Mount St. Mary’s University at the Francis B. Messmore Aquatics Center on Friday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. Fordham’s next five bouts will be played in the Bronx, with an impressive 14–4 record on the season, having played just one home match in 2021.