Nov. 10, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT water polo team picked up an opening round, overtime win over Harvard on Saturday morning, before dropping their next two games, en route to a fourth place finish at the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division Championship held in the Zesiger Pool over the weekend. With their win over the Crimson, the Engineers earned a spot in the CWPA Eastern championship in two weeks at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Tech drew rival Harvard in their opening round match-up, a team they lost to, 10-9, earlier in the season. After building a 3-1 halftime advantage, the Engineers saw their lead evaporate quickly in the second half, as the Crimson used a 4-1 run to take the lead early in the final period. With the game tied at seven in the final minute, both teams had great chances to win in regulation. Mike Smith-Bronstein came up with a huge defensive steal to deny the visitors. Out of a timeout, Smith-Bronstein had a chance to be the hero, but was denied by Harvard goalkeeper, Jay Connolly.
In overtime, Devin Lewis game the Engineers the lead with a shot from two meters out and Smith-Bronstein added an insurance goal to seal the victory. Lewis led the way with four goals, while Smith-Bronstein contributed three. Palmer Rosemond and Alex Mattfolk also found the back of the net. Columbus Leonard picked up the win, while making seven saves.
Following their dramatic opening round win, the Cardinal and Gray returned to the Zesiger Pool on Saturday night to take on the top overall seed in the tournament, Brown. Despite the best efforts from Leonard, who made 13 saves, including two on penalty throws, the Bears eventually pulled away from the hosts, winning 11-4. Smith-Bronsten, Lewis, Rosemond and John Preis were the goal scorers for MIT.
In their final contest of the weekend, the Engineers took on Iona College on Sunday afternoon with third place in the tournament on the line. For the second time this season, the Gaels outlasted MIT, winning this contest, 12-11. Smith-Bronstein (3), Lewis (2) and Mark Artz (2) powered the offensive attack, combining for seven of the 11 goals scored for the home team. Mattfolk, Rosemond, Matt Perkins and Matt Chapa added tallies. Leonard stopped nine shots in the losing effort.
MIT has qualified for the CWPA Eastern championship in Annapolis, Md. in two weeks. As the fourth seed in the North, the Engineers will open up against the top seed from the Southern Division, Princeton University on Friday, November 21 at 11:00 a.m.