November 4, 2007

Water Polo Concludes Season with Fifth-Place Finish at Northerns

Nov. 4, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT's water polo team's 2007 campaign came to a close on Sunday afternoon, as the Engineers went 2-1 over the course of the weekend to secure a fifth-place finish at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division Championships, hosted by MIT in Zesiger Pool. The Cardinal and Gray, seeded fourth heading into the event, was upset by fifth-seed Iona College in its opener, 9-8, before overcoming both Connecticut College, 20-5, and Fordham University, 8-7.

The Engineers finished 16-11 in Adam Foley's first year as a head coach, marking the water polo program's most successful campaign since 2003, when MIT put forth its best record ever at 23-9.

Saturday morning, Tech and Iona faced off with a spot at the Eastern Championships up for grabs, and unfortunately for the Engineers, the Gaels squeaked out a 9-8 victory to extend their season. The loss, coupled with MIT's triumph over Iona during the regular season, marked the fourth consecutive year that the Engineers and Gaels have split a pair of meetings.

Seven different players scored for the Cardinal and Gray in defeat, with sophomore Devin Lewis the only Engineer to record multiple goals as he scored twice. Senior Morgan Laidlaw, juniors Mike Smith-Bronstein and Palmer Rosemond, sophomore Mark Artz and freshmen Matt Perkins and John Preis each struck once to round out Tech's scoring contingent. Smith-Bronstein added four steals and two assists, while Laidlaw tacked on two steals and an assist.

MIT had to bounce back quickly following the disappointing defeat, as it took on Connecticut College later on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers responded in stunning fashion, as six players netted multiple goals en route to pounding out a 20-5 win. Laidlaw and Smith-Bronstein led the way, tallying four times each, while Grant Tomassi (3), Artz (2), Mattfolk (2) and Preis (2) rounded out MIT's legion of multi-goal scorers. Rob Kalwarowsky, Brian Gardiner and Spencer Williams each scored one goal to help Tech reach the 20-goal plateau for the fourth time this season.

The Engineers earned a spot in the fifth-place game courtesy of the victory, where they downed Fordham, 8-7, to finish out the season on a winning note. Laidlaw, playing in the final game of his intercollegiate career, netted a pair of goals to push his season total to a career-high 18. The Newport Beach, Calif., native also added an assist. Smith-Bronstein and Tomassi each netted a pair of goals as well, while Lewis and Preis finished off the scoring with a goal apiece. Preis ended the season with a team-leading 72 strikes.

Rosemond was another huge contributor in the final game for MIT, making four steals and adding three assists, while Lewis added a pair of steals.

Sophomore goalkeeper Nick Souza played between the pipes for MIT in the Iona and Fordham matches, making 16 saves and contributing one steal, while fellow sophomore Hiroshi Mendoza manned the nets in the Connecticut College win, stopping six shots.