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Crab People shoot for national title

October 28, 2011

Kimarri Campbell/The Courier - The Monmouth College “Crab People” earned their fourth straight conference title. The team has set numerous team and individual goals to help them continue the success they have had for the past four years. The team will travel to Clinton, N. Y. to compete for their goal of bringing a national title to Monmouth College.

Winning four straight conference titles is more than just an accomplishment. It is an honor to Monmouth College and the water polo club offered on campus.

The Monmouth College water polo team, known as the Crab People, took home their fourth straight conference title this weekend from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

The Crab People played a total of three games, beating every team.

They played their first game against St. Mary’s University, defeating them 20-1.

Their second game was against Macalester College, whom they defeated 18-5, leading them into the Championship game against Grinnell College.

“Every player had at least one goal over the weekend,” said senior Steve Collins. “Sophomore Gabe Baginski led the weekend with nine goals. Frank Wasielewski had a near shut-out against Grinnell and had 22 saves for the weekend.”

Grinnell only scored twice in that game due to Wasielewski’s efforts, according to senior Josh Dunn.

“I think when we played Grinnell, we played one of our very best games the entire season,” said Dunn. “They only scored on a penalty shot and a tipped shot. Our defense was rock solid, and it lead to scoring on offense. Frank [Wasielewski] played an amazing game, and he always plays well in championship game.”

The Crab People have depth in their bench which gives them an edge over their competitors.

“Everyone was able to play in the championship game,” Dunn said. “We had a team of 12 guys that came with and there is no other team in our conference that can say they can play all of their players in the conference championship. We were able to do that not only in the championship game but all the other games as well. It shows how good of a team we are as well as the depth we have on our bench.”

Members of the team have set individuals goals for themselves for the season.

“Whether it’s in the pool at practice, in a game, or being with the team, I want to make sure I give everything,” said senior Jeff Skalon. “This team has given me a lot, and it is only right I give it everything I have back.”

The team has high hopes and goals for the outcome of the National Championship that will be held in Clinton, N. Y. at Hamilton College, Nov. 5-6.

“Our team goal has remained the same: one team, one goal, one game at a time,” Skalon said. “We haveeyes set on a national championship, and we will be working toward that. Conference was just that step toward the right direction.”

The team was honored with the first seed of the tournament and will play their first match against the ninth seed, Hamilton College.

 “We have prepared the best we can and have shown a lot of improvement from our team last year to the team we have this year,” said Dunn. “Everyone has improved from where they were last year and I think going in we are more prepared. We will be the number one seed going into nationals this year. This year is really up in the air and any team has a chance to win since no one has played each other going into nationals, so I am unsure on our chances, but we have had one goal on our mind this entire year and it is to bring home a national championship to Monmouth for water polo.”

The team’s coach, senior Steve Collins, is prepared to push the team in practices until they compete in the National Tournament.

“From what I saw from the Conference Championship, we are ready to play at a higher level,” said Collins. “Being the person I am, that is not good enough, and I will continue to push to make sure we are ready to win each of the games we play. As of right now, I do think we have a high chance to win and will be the team to beat this national tournament.”

Kelsey Beshears
Sports Editor

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