In the opening tournament of the 2012 water polo season, the Blue Jays went undefeated in all four matches of the Navy Labor Day Open on September 1 and 2.
Hopkins defeated Cerritos College (18-9), Lindenwood University (20-3), Gannon University (21-5) and Mount San Antonio College (24-12). Sophomore Wes Hopkins led the team with 13 goals, followed by seniors Alex Whittam, who tallied 11 goals, and Ross Schofield, who notched eight.
In the first game of the year against Cerritos, a two-year school in Norwalk, Calif., sophomore goalie Danny Ovelar made nine saves in two quarters, letting four slip through.
On Wednesday, Ovelar was named Southern Division defensive player of the week.
Freshman Erik Hendrikson spent the final two quarters in goal, making seven saves and allowing five goals.
The first half closed with a tight 7-6 score in favor of the Blue Jays, but Hopkins exploded in the second half when 11 different Hopkins players scored to win 18-9.
The energy from the victory over Cerritos flowed into the second game of the day against Lindenwood in Missouri. Freshman Tommy Renner led the team in goals with four, while senior Mike McCreery and sophomore Henry Pfleger each put the ball in the back of the net twice.
Ovelar made three saves in three quarters, and sophomore Scott Weigel made four saves in the final stanza.
The team wrapped up their successful weekend on Sunday with a win over Gannon in Erie, Pa. Freshmen Langdon Froomer and Blake Range each scored hat tricks.
Later in the day, Hopkins finished with a win against Mt. San Antonio. Sophomoes Johnny Beal and Wes Hopkins, along with Range, each scored four goals.
The following weekend, the polo team attended the Princeton Invitational, playing Brown University, UCLA, Harvard University and MIT.
Hopkins beat the Brown Bears in the opening game of the tournament with a thrilling victory. The game was tied in the first quarter, but Hopkins took the lead in the second. Brown battled back, but Beal and senior co-captain Kielan Crow secured the 9-8 win.
Junior Thomas de Lyon believes this upset was a great fight and was telling of the team’s character.
“It was the first real testament of the team’s ability,” de Lyon said.
Although the Jays were on a hot streak, they fell to the Bruins of UCLA in a 14-7 loss.
On Sunday, however, Hopkins came back with an 8-5 win over Harvard. Six different players scored throughout the game. Schofield, Beal, and junior Stephen Kingery each scored a pair of goals. Ovelar played all four quarters and finished with 12 saves.
The final game of the tournament against MIT was close, eventually ending in a tough 13-11 loss for the Jays.
Overall, Hopkins has a strong 6-2 record, which de Lyon believes is a product of many capable players off the bench.
“We have an extremely deep roster, allowing for a lot of players to make a significant impact this year,” de Lyon said.
The Jays will travel to Annapolis again this weekend to compete against Washington and Jefferson, Northern Virginia, Notre Dame, Fordham and Connecticut College.