CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On the strength of five unanswered, fourth quarter goals, the MIT water polo team downed visiting Iona College, 11-8, on Sunday morning at the Zesiger Center Pool. The win capped a 2-0 home-stand over the weekend, following a 13-10 victory over Fordham on Saturday night. The games marked the start of Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division play for the Cardinal and Gray, who improved to 2-0 in the conference and 5-3 overall.
John Preis opened the scoring for Tech early in the first, with the first of his four scores on the day. Iona would answer as the teams ended the quarter tied at one. Andrew Dorne gave the host Engineers a 3-2 lead with just over three minutes left in the half but the Gaels evened things up a few minutes later on a breakaway goal. Preis added another tally late in the frame to send the teams into the break tied at four.
Matt Chapa and Preis scored in the third quarter, as Iona took a 7-6 lead into the final eight minutes. After an early fourth-quarter tally gave the visitors a two-goal advantage, Tech would respond by scoring the final five markers of the game en route to its third straight win.
Preis and Craig Cheney scored less than 30 seconds apart to knot things at eight. Nikola Otasevic finally regained the lead for MIT with his third goal of the season. Scott Stephens added a five-meter penalty shot in the period and Matt Perkins closed out the 5-0 scoring run.
Columbus Leonard earned the win in net for the Cardinal and Gray, stopping nine shots and allowing just one goal in the final eight minutes.
On Saturday night, Tech handed Fordham a 13-10 defeat, led by a game-high four goals by Cheney. Chapa added three markers, two steals and an assist while Preis and Stephens found the back of the net twice. Stephens also led the team with three helpers. Alex Mattfolk and Otasevic capped the scoring for the Engineers.
Leonard made 13 saves against the Rams to pick up his third straight win in goal. With its 2-0 mark in league play, MIT is one of just two unbeaten teams in the CWPA Northern Division, joining St. Francis (N.Y.) atop the division standings. Cheney paces the team, and is among the national scoring leaders, with 20 goals in eight games while Preis has 16 scores and five assists.
Tech will host Brown University next Friday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m. before traveling to Harvard on Saturday afternoon.