Oct. 26, 2008
BALTIMORE, Md. – After winning their first two games at the Division III Eastern championships, the MIT men's water polo team fell to host Johns Hopkins University, 20-15, in the tournament final. The Engineers have now finished second to the Blue Jays at the championship four times in the past five years.
As the tournament's number-two seed, Tech opened up play in bracket B against Washington & Jefferson on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinal and Gray opened up a 7-3 halftime advantage, before outscoring the President's, 10-3, in the second half on their way to the opening round win. John Preis led the MIT attack with six goals and Mike Smith-Bronstein added four markers. Columbus Leonard had nine saves while surrendering just four goals.
The Engineers returned to the pool later that night to take on Penn State Behrend, outlasting the Lions in a high-scoring affair, 21-15, to earn a berth in Sunday's championship game. Mark Artz's four goals led a balanced scoring attack for Tech while five other players, Smith-Bronstein, Preis, Rob Kalwarowsky, Palmer Rosemond and Devin Lewis, tallied three scores. The win ensured that MIT and Johns Hopkins would meet for the tournament championship for the 13th time.
Sunday's final was a high-scoring, physical tilt that saw the teams combine for 29 ejections. MIT jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the first period but it would not last long as Hopkins rallied for a 9-6 halftime advantage. Despite drawing a pair of penalty throws, converting one, the Engineers could not close the gap, dropping a 20-15 decision to take second place in the tournament.
Smith-Bronstein and Preis were named First Team All-Tournament and Lewis made the Second Team. Josh Kratz of Johns Hopkins was named the tournament MVP. Penn State Behrend defeated Washington & Jefferson for third place and Connecticut College finished fifth.