Water Polo Finishes Eighth At Eastern Championships

Nov. 15, 2004

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Despite a superb effort, MIT water polo concluded its season with three, tough losses at the 2004 Eastern Championships. Tech came just short of completing the biggest upset of the weekend over top-ranked Princeton in the opening round, then fell to Salem International and Brown University in the consolation bracket.

Returning to the Eastern Championship for only the second time in school history should have been reward enough for the Engineers. As the only Division III school to advance to the Elite 8 of the east coast, the goals set by the new coaching staff were reached. Just like last year, Princeton was the first match for the Engineers in the quarterfinals. But unlike last year, when the Tigers crushed MIT, 15-2, Tech was aiming for an upset. The Engineers employed a deliberate and slow offensive pace, while playing solid defense for three quarters before Princeton was able to seal the victory with a 12-9 score. Dave Lohrey had three goals and John Rogers added two in the loss. Also scoring in the match was Andrew Whitehead, Morgan Laidlaw, Mark Laio and Dan Jacobs. Danny Malconian had six saves and two steals to lead the defense. 

In the consolation round, MIT fell to Salem International, 10-8.  The Engineers trailed 4-1 early in the contest, but fought back to take a 6-5 lead. But Salem used its international muscle to pull away, getting hat tricks from Danilo Lazerovic and Tomislav Popovic. MIT was led by Dan Jacobs, who scored three goals. Dave Lohrey, Grady Snyder, Bruce DiBello, Andrew Whitehead, and John Rogers added one goal a piece, while Danny Malconian made eight saves.

In the seventh-place game, MIT fell to Brown, 10-9. MIT utilized all of its players against teh Bears, with freshman goalie Rob Truax getting his second start of the season. Truax had seven saves, including two spectacular counter-attack stops for the Engineers. Scoring for the Engineers were Dave Lohrey, Alexi Zykov, and John Rogers who each lit the lamp twice, and Dan Jacobs, Grady Snyder, and Morgan Laidlaw, who contributed one each. 

"I think to finish off the season with everyone getting to play in the final game was great for the future of the program" said Coach Omar Amr. "This senior class is very special and unselfish.  They have laid a great foundation for this program. Every victory from here on out, and any success we have in the postseason in years to come, will be attribute to this class. It will be hard to replace them in the pool and even harder in the locker room."

Playing their final game for the Engineers were Dave Lohrey, Dan Jacobs, Alexi Zykov, Bruce DiBello, and Andrew Whitehead. 

"We plan on being a permanent fixture at Easterns" added Coach Felix Mercado, "and I think all the other schools realize that."