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Crab People primed for run at Nationals

November 2, 2012

Zack Johnson / The Courier - A combination of youth and experience make the Crab People favored in this weekend's Division III National tournament.

The Monmouth College club water polo team, better known as “The Crab People,” is being recognized on the national stage as they made their creed known by a dominating performance in the Heartland Conference tournament; entitling them as the second ranked team in the nation.

The Crab People walked through the conference finals tournament nearly untouched; beating St. Mary’s 23-2, Grinnell 21-7, then Macalester 13-6 in the championship round. These great performances led the Crab People to their fifth consecutive conference championship.

The team of only 15 members has seemed to take the Division III water polo world by storm. After an astounding season where they won all 11 conference matches, Monmouth finds themselves headed to Vermont’s Middlebury College to compete for a national title once again.

Student coach and player Tony Marino serves his team as more than just a coach. Marino is also one of the team’s top scorers along with Raheem Brown and Cameron Weber. These men are  accompanied by fellow starters Josh Dunn, Neil Hosper, Frank Wasielewski and captains Gabe Baginski and Chris Falkenrath.

Finding themselves behind Washington University in the national rankings, the Crab People approach national play with a “bitter taste in our mouths,” according to Marino.

Receiving bronze last year and silver the two years prior, this team of talented individuals looks to avenge their previous demise by coming out on top this season.

The team will rely on their commanding offense that out-scored their opponents 57-16 in the Heartland tournament along with goaltenders Alex Hernandez and Marshall Palfenier, who combined for 15 saves.

The team’s top scorer, Raheem Brown, put together a six-goal match in the Heartland Conference Tournament against St. Mary’s. Brown’s dedication and skill level will undoubtedly play a huge factor in the national competition. With his performance level and the rest of the armor plated Crab People prepared, the future looks bright.

“We just need to play together as a team going into nationals,” said senior Frank Wasielewski. “We have a lot of talent and our team chemistry is very strong and if we play together there should be no reason why we can’t bring Monmouth home a national title.”

Coach Marino emphasized to his team the importance of keeping focused on their main goal as they quickly approach the National Championships this weekend.

Beginning tournament play against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans on Saturday, the Crab People will strive to reach the pinnacle of Division III water polo competition.

Zack Johnson
Contributing Writer

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