Zdolsek’s OT Goal Sends Water Polo to MAWPC Championship Game


Annapolis, Md. – (November 20, 2021) – Fordham’s Hans Zdolsek scored the lone goal in overtime, while Thomas Lercari made a final save with just seconds remaining, as the top-seeded Fordham Rams got past the Wagner Seahawks, 11-10, to advance to the MAWPC Championship match on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM.
 
This will be Fordham’s first championship appearance since going to back-to-back finals of the Eastern Championship in 1973 and 1974.
 
The tightly fought semifinal was everything you could ask for with a chance at Sunday’s title match with the score tied at three after the first quarter.
 
Wagner netted the first two goals of the second quarter, but Jacopo Parrella had the answer for Fordham, scoring three straight markers to give the Rams a 6-5 lead with 2:30 left in the period.  The Seahawks though would tie the game on the ensuing possession and then get a last second goal to end the half with a 7-6 lead.
 
Neither team was able to crack the scoreboard in the third quarter until Wagner netted back-to-back goals to go up by three, 9-6, with 1:36 remaining in the period.  Fordham though got an important goal back just before the end of the period, when Dimitris Koukias scored with four seconds left to make it a 9-7 game.

Dimitris Koukias
Dimitris Koukias scored three goals on Saturday

 
The teams exchanged goals in the fourth quarter, making it a 10-8 game with 4:21 to go in regulation.  Koukias then came through big netting goals at the 3:19 and 1:18 marks to tie the game at ten.  The game whittled down to the final seconds, where Thomas Lercari made a huge save for Fordham to deny the potential game-winning goal and force overtime.
 
Neither team scored in the opening three minutes of overtime, but in the second three-minute session, Wagner’s Zsombor Gyemant was excluded with 1:17 left, and Hans Zdolsek scored the man-advantage goal to put Fordham on top, 11-10, with 1:01 remaining.
 
The final minute was a frantic one with Wagner having a chance to tie, but Lercari stood tall and stopped a final attempt to secure the Rams’ spot in the MAWPC Championship match.
 
For Fordham, Koukias and Parrella each scored three goals in the match, while Zdolsek, Christos Loupakis, George Papanikolaou, Lucas Nieto Jasny, and Sebastian Zapatero accounted for the other five goals.  Zdolsek also dished out three assists in the game to go with two steals and two blocks.  In net, Lercari made 13 saves to go with a steal.
 
The Rams will now face second-seeded Navy for the MAWPC Championship and an NCAA berth on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM.





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