Continuing our coverage of St Francis water polo, Michael Randazzo reports from poolside.
For the first time in program history, the St. Francis Brooklyn men’s water polo team has qualified for back-to back NCAA Men’s Water Polo tournaments. On Sunday at Brown’s Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the Terriers captured their second consecutive Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) title with a hard-fought 11-9 victory over Princeton. Tournament MVP Igor Mladenovic of St. Francis led a strong defensive effort by stopping eight Princeton shots, while CWPA Championship newcomers Lazar Komadinic—selected the tournament’s top rookie—and Ilija Djuretic each contributed three goals in the Terriers historic win.
St. Francis now awaits the identity of its opponent for an NCAA play-in game on Thursday, December 5, at Stanford University. The Terriers will most likely play the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) champion for a berth in the 2013 NCAA Championship Final Four.
St. Francis Head Coach Srdjan Mihaljevic, soaking wet after a customary victory leap in the pool, was elated by his team’s effort against a strong Tiger squad. “My hat goes out to Princeton, they had a really quality team,” said Mihaljevic, who was selected the Dick Russell Coach of the Tournament. “We had our hands full but came out on top. The guys are happy, I’m happy, we’re going to California.”
Photo : St. Francis’ Lazar Komadinic in action against Princeton in the 2013 CWPA Championship : Michael Randazzo