Several former water polo players were among the big crowd Monday for the final event at Loyola’s current aquatics facility.
The Ramblers treated the home fans to a 13-8 win over Lockport on senior night. Senior John Merucci and junior Kenny Sanjaj both scored four goals. Sophomore Kevin Considine had three goals, and senior Charlie Freedman added two.
Seniors Tommy Barr, Jake Bevins, Charlie Caestecker, Will Edwards, Jack Maddalozzo and Tony Spallone (pictured above) all contributed to the victory.
Loyola head coach Dan Hengelmann, a 1997 graduate who swam and played water polo for the Ramblers, said it was an emotional evening.
“I saw the seniors looking around and soaking it all in,” said Hengelmann, who’s in his 10th season. “They know the end of their high school career is here. They saw all of the alums, and they know how special this place has been to them.”
Loyola trailed 2-1 after the first quarter but was able pull it together to go into the half ahead 5-3 on goals by Sanjaj, Merucci, Freedman and Considine.
“Our level of focus wasn’t there, and we were a little reckless with the ball,” Hengelmann said. “But the seniors are a great group. They got us focused, and we made the adjustments. We knew where the opportunities were. We just had to take advantage of them.”
Monday marked the final game of the regular season for the Ramblers and ended a grueling four-day, five-game stretch that included four games against teams ranked in the top 12 by Illpolo.com. Fifth-ranked Loyola (21-6) plays at the MCAC tournament Friday and Saturday at Fenwick. The host Friars are the top seed and ranked No. 4 by Illpolo.com.
“It’s sad to see the pool close, but I have a lot of good memories in here,” Freedman said.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola