October 24, 2005

Engineers Earn Second Place At Division III Eastern Championship

Oct. 24, 2005

NEW LONDON, Conn. - After a minor setback against Brown last Wednesday, the water polo team got back on track this past weekend at the Division III Eastern Championship. MIT went 2-0 in the first day of competition, as they came back to beat Washington and Jefferson College 12-10 and crushed Penn State Behrend 14-3. The Engineers then met 16th ranked John Hopkins in Sunday's championship game, but several MIT turnovers led to a 13-8 loss and a second place finish. The Engineers have now dropped two contests to John Hopkins this season.

In the quarterfinal game, Washington and Jefferson came out strong and built an early 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter, but MIT came back and rattled off nine of the next 13 goals for a 12-10 victory. Senior 2 meter man John Rogers registered six goals in the contest to pace MIT. Robert Truax played superb in net and stopped 13 shots. Senior Grady Snyder also pumped in two goals.

The Engineers faced Penn State Behrend in the semi-final game and found themselves in front 7-1 at halftime. The second half was no different as the Engineers tallied seven more goals en route to an easy 14-3 decision. Truax continued his stellar play in net with 12 stops for MIT. Junior Kevin Amendt also had four goals, while Mike Smith Bronstein got back on track with three scores.

MIT went into the championship game against 16th ranked John Hopkins having already lost to the Blue Jays 16-7 on September 3 at the U.S. Naval Academy Invitational. The Engineers went down 4-2 after the opening frame, and by halftime, MIT was facing an uphill battle with the score 8-3. Each team scored two goals in the third quarter and three in the fourth as the Blue Jays won 13-8, while capturing the tournament title. MIT's Morgan Laidlaw chipped in three goals, and Truax denied nine shots in the loss.

"Overall, it was a very successful weekend for the Engineers," said head coach Felix Mercado. "The only area of concern was our offense because we still committed way too many turnovers. Against John Hopkins, we committed 17 turnovers that led to eight of their goals. We aren't going to win many games doing that."

MIT will prepare to host the Northern Division III Championships this weekend.