September 9, 2005

MIT Slips By Harvard In First Game Of Tournament

Sept. 9, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - After a mediocre performance at the Navy Invitational last weekend, the MIT men's water polo team came out hot Friday night against Harvard at Zesiger Pool. A seesaw game with the rival Crimson came down to the wire, but the Engineers held on for a 6-5 win to open the tournament.

 

The Engineers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by senior sniper John Rogers, but Harvard came right back and tied the score thirty-four seconds later when junior Michael Garcia found the back of the net. At 4:21 of the first quarter, freshman Mike Smith Bronstein gave MIT a 2-1 advantage, but a resilient Crimson squad evened the score again at 1:57. MIT freshman Dallas Chase broke the deadlock less than thirty-seconds later, giving the Engineers the lead heading into the second quarter.

 

After a high-scoring first quarter, both defenses settled down in the second frame. The only scoring came at 4:47 when Harvard's David Tune knotted the game at three.

 

The Crimson carried the momentum into the third quarter and grabbed their first lead at 6:25 when Harvard junior Alessandro Lazzarini beat MIT sophomore goalie Robert Truax for his second goal of the contest. Harvard retained their one goal lead deep into the third quarter while stifling MIT's offense, but with less than two minutes left in the quarter, the Engineers offense found its rhythm. At 1:39, Rogers fired a shot past Harvard senior goaltender Robbie Burmeister after winning a one-on-one battle with a Crimson defender in front of the net. Fifty seconds later, junior Kevin Amendt scored, putting the Engineers up for good.

 

MIT added another goal at 2:23 of the fourth quarter and had a few chances to put the game out of reach late, but a shot that hit the post and a few saves by Harvard goalie Burmeister kept the Crimson within reach. In the last two minutes, the Engineers passed the ball around to drain us much time off the clock as possible, but with 21 seconds left, Harvard's David Tune found himself alone in front of MIT goalie Truax. Tune made no mistake and netted his second goal to pull the Crimson within one. But Harvard's last ditch effort proved to be too little too late. Following the goal, MIT controlled the ball and pushed play into the Harvard side to seal the victory in the opening game of the 2005 MIT Water Polo Tournament.

 

"It was a very sloppy game on both sides," said head coach Felix Mercado. "We played alright and beat a solid Harvard team, but it's still early in the season. We still have things we need to work on."

 

Tournament action continues Saturday, September 10, when Harvard looks to pick up their first victory against Yale at 8:30 a.m. MIT resumes play at 12:30 p.m. against Yale.