Water Polo Dominates MAWPC Crossover


Jacopo Parrella tallied 12 goals at the MAWPC Crossover this weekend, taking his season total to 46. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Fordham Water Polo flexed their muscles at the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Crossover, sweeping the weekend and outscoring their opponents 83-28. Averaging more than 20 points over the course of four games, Fordham’s offense once again proved itself to be an unstoppable force.

The MAWPC Crossover served as Fordham’s final tournament of the regular season, and the only one to solely feature conference teams. Fordham was 4-0 in conference games heading into the tournament and were coming off a 14-9 victory last Thursday over Wagner College, the #5 ranked team in the MAWPC. 

The opening game of the tournament was a sign of things to come as the Rams defeated McKendree University 25-3 to kick off play on Saturday. The Rams tallied 15 goals in the first half alone, boosted by an impressive 10-goal second quarter. Four Rams boasted hat tricks in the game, with sophomores George Papanikolaou and Nacho Ariste tallying three goals and two assists while grad transfer Paul Pittion and sophomore Mark Katsev each notched three goals and an assist. Sophomore goaltenders Thomas Lercari and Riccardo Di Giuseppe both saw time in the blowout victory.

The Rams followed that up with a 17-14 victory over Salem University later that day in what ended up being the closest match of the weekend. Sophomore Jacopo Parrella led the way, scoring five goals while sophomore transfer Luca Silvestri had himself a six point day behind three goals and three assists. Junior Christos Loupakis also notched a hat trick and sophomore Lucas Nieto Jasny posted two goals and an assist. Lercari made 14 saves in net as Fordham swept the season series against Salem.

Sunday’s first game would result in another season series sweep as the Rams took on Gannon University. Fordham had previously played them in their season opening tournament, scoring 28 goals, a number that hadn’t been reached by the Rams since 1970. While they couldn’t quite replicate their record setting performance, Fordham still took care of business, defeating Gannon 18-9. This time around, five Rams netted hat tricks. Parrella and Papanikolaou were the stars of the show, each tallying seven points with identical stat lines of three goals and four assists. Graduate student Nir Gross, freshman Balazs Berenyi and Nieto Jasny accounted for the other three hat tricks while Lercari was excellent once again, making 13 saves. 

Fordham capped off their weekend with, you guessed it, another dominant victory, defeating Mercyhurst University 23-2. Parrella and freshman Jagger McMannis each had four markers as the Rams dominated on both sides of the ball. 

This weekend was a ridiculous showing for a Fordham offense loaded with weapons. Boasting 14 hat tricks over the span of just four games, the Rams are an offensive juggernaut when they’re at their best. Parrella had an impressive weekend, notching 12 goals. He now has four games with at least four or more goals scored, the most on the team. His 46 goals leads Fordham and puts him on pace for 70 goals this season after he tallied 56 in his freshman year. 

Fordham improves to 12-6 overall and 8-0 in conference play. Dating back to last season, Fordham is 22-1 against conference opponents. 

Coming into the weekend ranked #18 in the nation, their lowest national ranking dating back to last year, Fordham made four statement wins over conference opponents. Having been ranked the #1 team in the MAWPC per the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) conference polls since the start of the season, they are no doubt the team to beat moving forward. They’ll be tested this weekend with a Saturday conference double header at home against George Washington University and John Hopkins University. 

George Washington stands out in particular as the #2 ranked team in the MAWPC and just one point behind Fordham in the CWPA polls. GW is 15-1 and riding a 15 game winning streak with their only loss coming in their season opener to #11 Princeton University. Fordham has dominated conference play so far this season, but they’ll face their toughest task this Saturday against a George Washington team that looks to challenge them for the MAWPC throne.