CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT water polo team hosted its annual Invitational on Saturday, welcoming Brown, Cal Baptist and Harvard to the Zesiger pool for the season opening competition. The youthful Engineers dropped three hard-fought contests on the day, falling to 0-3 to start the 2011 campaign.
In the opener against Harvard, the Crimson used a five-goal outburst in the second quarter to pull away from Tech and come away with a 13-5 win. Luke Babic and William Roller scored twice in the frame to give Harvard a 7-3 advantage at the half. Nikola Otasevic (Belgrade, Serbia) found the back of the net late in the third to cut the deficit to three but that was the closest MIT would get the rest of the way. Otasevic and Craig Cheney (Sherwood, Ore.) each tallied a pair of goals and Andrew Dorne (Irvine, Calif.) rounded out the scoring in the opener. Columbus Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) made six saves in the losing effort.
In their second game of the afternoon, the Engineers hooked up with the No. 21 ranked Brown Bears. Tech mounted a late comeback, including a pair of goals scored in the final two minutes but it was not enough to overcome an early deficit, as MIT ultimately fell 9-5. Dorne led the scoring in game two with a pair of markers while Otasevic, Matt Chapa (Baytown, Texas) and Dylan Hallman (La Jolla, Calif.) also contributed.
Tech also dropped the finale against Cal Baptist, 15-4, falling to a team that finished as the runner-up of the NAIA in 2010.
The Cardinal and Gray will look to bounce back next weekend, traveling to the Princeton Invitational for four games on Saturday and Sunday. Tech opens up against Iona College on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.