PRINCETON, N.J. – The MIT water polo squad picked up its first win of the 2011 campaign with a 7-2 victory over George Washington University on Saturday evening as part of the Princeton University Invitational. The Engineers dropped three other hard-fought contests over the weekend to Iona College, 11-10, Santa Clara, 8-6, and the host Tigers, 14-7.
Tech jumped out to a 3-0 lead over George Washington in the first half, thanks to a pair of goals by Craig Cheney (Sherwood, Ore.) and one from Jack Clark (Laguna Beach, Calif.). The Colonials closed the gap to one early in the third quarter but that would the closest they got, as Tech scored four straight to close things out for the 7-2 win. Cheney led the way with four scores while Clark found the net twice. Columbus Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) had 13 blocks in the win.
In its tournament opener against Iona on Saturday afternoon, Tech rallied from an early 3-0 deficit, getting an equalizer from Clark with a minute to go in regulation to send the contest into overtime. After allowing three Iona scores in the first quarter, the Cardinal and Gray outscored the Gaels, 6-1, over the next two quarters to take a 6-4 lead with just over two minutes to go in the third. Cheney had three goals during the rally while Andrew Dorne (Irvine, Calif.), Dylan Hallman (La Jolla, Calif.) and Matt Chapa (Baytown, Texas) also found the back of the net.
Iona responded with four of the next five goals, to take an 8-7 lead late in the fourth quarter before Clark's tying goal in the final minute. MIT scored first in the first overtime on Dorne's second marker of the game. Iona regained the lead with a pair of tallies before Chapa evened things at 10 with 1:08 to go. The Tech defense was unable to withstand Iona's final charge, however, giving up the game-winning goal with just 37 seconds remaining.
Back in action on Sunday, the Engineers took on a pair of highly regarded opponents in Santa Clara and Princeton, both of whom are ranked in the top 20 of the national poll. Clark scored twice in the 8-6 loss to Santa Clara while Leonard stopped 11 shots in goal. Six different Engineers found the scoring column against Princeton, led by Kyle Bowman's (Millbrea, Calif.) two markers but were unable to withstand the powerful Tiger attack during a 14-7 defeat.