Greenwich Water Polo team fares well in Spain

Greenwich High’s Julian Fraser races towards the ball during a recent game in Barcelona, Spain.

Greenwich High’s Julian Fraser races towards the ball during a recent game in Barcelona, Spain.

Greenwich Water Polo sent 16 athletes to Barcelona, Spain, to compete against some of the toughest competition around and they returned having one of the club’s most successful European ventures they have taken over the past decade.

The team of 16 boys in the 15- to 18-years-old age group compiled a record of 8-2 overall during its week-long stay in the Catalan city.

Members of the Greenwich Water Polo team pose for a photo prior to one of their matches in Barcelona, Spain.

Members of the Greenwich Water Polo team pose for a photo prior to one of their matches in Barcelona, Spain.

After the long flight and a four-hour morning training session on its second day in the city, a weary Greenwich Water Polo team lost its opening game of the week that night to the Club Natacio (CN) Barceloneta, 11-5.

Playing at the recently refurbished 1992 Olympic pools on Montjuic Mountain, the Greenwich boys came back the next evening to defeat the Barceloneta team 11-9. Julian Fraser and Nick Hyden led the Greenwich team to victory, each scoring three goals.

The next night they defeated the Barcelona’s CN Esportiu Mediterrani, 12-10. Again Fraser and Hyden led the offense with hat tricks, with six other players each scoring once. Throughout the week, outstanding goal play by the duo of Alex Jahns and Steven Michaud was a highlight of the team’s performance. In the win against CN Esportiu Mediterrani, Michaud pulled in eight saves in his two quarters of play.

Continuing the pattern of four-hour training sessions in the morning, on its fifth night in Barcelona the GWP squad defeated the CN L’Hospitalet, 14-11.

Though Hyden again led the way with three goals, seven other Greenwich players contributed to the offense. Ed Moss, Mack Neary and Ben Wurst each had a pair of goals, while Fraser, Sam Bass, Jack Robinson, Tyler Triscari and Tyler Swift each had one goal.

To end the week, the GWP played in an International Tournament hosted by Club Natacio Molins de Rei.

In the opening round, Greenwich played CN Granollers to an 8-8 tie in regulation time. Fraser had three of the goals, Hyden added two, and Wurst, Robinson and Triscari each finished with one.

The outcome came down to a shootout. While Fraser, Robinson and Moss each fired goals, Greenwich goalie Alex Jahns blocked two of the Granollers players’ shots to win the shootout 3-1 after four of the scheduled five rounds.

In the second game of the tournament, the US team upended CN Molins de Rei 12-6, with Fraser tossing in five goals and Neary netting three. Jahns recorded 11 first half saves for Greenwich and Michaud grabbed seven second half saves.

Ironically, the second loss of the week came in the semifinal game against another team from the United States, the Agoura Water Polo Club from California. Tied 7-7 after three periods, the California team pulled away in the final quarter as Greenwich fell, 11-8.

In the consolation game, GWP had an easier time in a re-match with CN Granollers, winning 10-6. Tyler Triscari was the offensive and defensive leader with three goals and four steals.

Moss and Fraser each added a pair of goals, while Robinson, Quentin Montgomery and Pat Judge adding one. Goalie play again proved to be the difference as Jahns made nine first-half saves and Michaud six second-half saves.

Fordham University and GWP coach Bill Harris stated that “the skills picked up in the training sessions with the Catalan National Team coaches and players was evident.” “The games at night were physical and intense and the experience gained will be a great asset as the team competes at the Junior Olympics in Southern California at the end of July.”

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