CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT men's water polo team earned its first win of the 2009 campaign on Sunday, defeating George Washington, 10-7, in its final game of the Princeton Invitational. The Engineers (1-7) dropped the other three games in the tournament, falling to Santa Clara, Bucknell and Johns Hopkins, before downing the Colonials in the finale.
On Friday night, Tech fell behind Santa Clara early, trailing 11-0 at the half, before managing a pair of scores in the third period by Matt Perkins en route to a 16-2 loss. Columbus Leonard made four saves while allowing 11 goals.
The Cardinal and Grey returned to the pool early Saturday to face Bucknell and once again got off to a slow start. After being outscored, 7-1, in the first two periods, the Engineers held their own over the final two before falling, 12-5. Five different players would factor in the scoring, including Mark Artz, who recorded a goal and an assist, and Brian Gardiner who added four steals to his one score. Devin Lewis led the way for MIT in the nightcap against Johns Hopkins, scoring four goals during the 12-7 defeat. Leonard tied a season-high with 15 saves in the losing effort.
On Sunday, it was MIT that finally jumped out to the early lead, as a two-goal advantage during the crucial second period led the way to a 6-3 halftime lead that proved to be too much for George Washington to overcome. Four Engineers, Artz, Gardiner, Perkins and Lewis, each netted a pair of goals while Leonard stopped eight shots to earn his first win of the season in net.
The Engineers will now take on cross-town rival Harvard on Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m. The two teams split a pair of contests last season, with the Crimson taking the regular season match-up, 10-9, while MIT returned the favor in the first round of the CWPA Northern Division Championship.