Oct. 27, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT's water polo team was crowned Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Eastern Champions for the fifth time in program history on Saturday evening, as the Engineers downed Connecticut College, 16-6, in the semifinals before defeating Washington and Jefferson, 20-10, in the title match. The Cardinal and Gray previously won the tournament in 1991, 1997, 2000 and 2003, and will now compete in the Small College Championship game tomorrow at 11:45 a.m., when it will meet the winner of the CWPA Division II Eastern Championship match between Mercyhurst College and Gannon University.
The event is being hosted by MIT in the Zesiger Center Pool.
The Engineers (13-10), ranked No. 7 nationally in Division III, used a 10-goal first half outburst, including six in the first period, to build an insurmountable 10-2 halftime lead over the Camels in the tournament's first match on Saturday afternoon. After going down 1-0 early, Tech rattled off six unanswered goals before Connecticut College responded with the opening quarter's final strike, giving MIT a 6-2 advantage after eight minutes. Any thoughts of a Camels' comeback were thwarted in the second period, however, as the Engineers scored the stanza's only four goals.
Another five-goal run spanning the third and fourth quarters put the Cardinal and Gray up, 16-4, effectively icing the game and sending Tech to the first-place match.
Sophomore Devin Lewis, who was named Player of the Game, led all scorers with five goals, while freshman teammate John Preis netted four tallies to provide the bulk of the Engineers' offense. Mark Artz, Mike Smith-Bronstein, Rob Kalwarowsky, Palmer Rosemond, Jake Rosenbluth, Grant Tomassi and Morgan Laidlaw each scored a single goal to supply MIT's balanced attack. Matt Perkins (two steals, one assist), Alex Mattfolk (two ejections drawn, one assist) and Spencer Williams (two assists) were other key contributors against the Camels.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nick Souza stopped 11 shots to earn the victory for MIT, while the Culver City, Calif., native also made three steals.
In the title match against Washington and Jefferson, Lewis was once again the offensive catalyst, striking for six goals and two assists to push his season-goal-total to 49. Preis, who leads the team with 63 goals on the campaign, bagged a hat trick, while Rosemond and Brian Gardiner each added a pair to round out MIT's contingent of multi-goal scorers. Rosemond was also huge on the defensive end of the pool, contributing a remarkable six steals.
Amazingly, Smith-Bronstein, Kalwarowsky, Rosemond, Lewis, Laidlaw, Gardiner and Souza all had a pair of assists.
In addition to contributing two assists, Souza manned the nets once again for MIT, making two saves and three steals.