Monmouth College's water polo team, the Crab People, clawed their way to a victory in the national championship match in Middlebury, Vt., defeating Washington University (Mo.) 12-11 in sudden death overtime.
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Monmouth College can lay claim to a national title after the men’s water polo club team outlasted top-ranked Washington University 12-11 in sudden death Sunday at the Division III Club Water Polo National Championships held at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.
Junior Tony Marino buried the game-winner just 48 seconds into sudden death as the No. 2 ranked Crab People downed the defending champions. Monmouth had jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the match before Wash U. staged a furious third-period rally, putting six on the boards to take an 8-7 advantage.
Monmouth’s Crab People bounced back in the final period of regulation, posting three goals – the final one by freshman Cameron Weber – to take a 10-8 lead with less than four minutes remaining. Washington rallied once again, scoring a pair of goals in less than a minute to forge a 10-10 tie and force overtime.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first overtime period, but both notched goals in the second OT.
Trailing 11-10 with just 18 seconds left in the second overtime, Weber’s pin-point pass to Josh Dunn led to Dunn’s game-tying score, setting up Marino’s sudden death heroics when he scored his third goal to give the Crab People their first national title.
Freshman Raheem Brown was named Player of the Game and the tournament’s MVP after netting a first-quarter hat trick en route to a six-goal performance, including the squad’s first four scores. Alex Hernandez made 13 saves for Monmouth, which earned its first national title after falling in the championship matches in 2009 and 2010.