Water Polo Falls to Brown, 7-6, In Overtime at Eastern Championship

Water Polo Falls to Brown, 7-6, In Overtime at Eastern Championship

Courtesy of Collegiate Water Polo Association

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Goalie Kent Holland made a tournament high 17 saves between the pipes to earn Player of the Game honors and help his team rally back from 5-3 deficit entering the fourth quarter as the Bears tallied a 7-6 OT win in the second consolation game of the 2009 Men's Eastern Championship. The win places Brown into the fifth place game on Sunday against the Rams of Fordham University.

The game was a battle of the former coach of MIT versus the MIT assistant coaching staff as current Brown head coach Felix Mercado matched wits against Alex Feinstein, Ed Vilandie and the rest of the Engineers' staff as MIT head coach Adam Foley was not on the deck due to the impending arrival of a child.

Neither team gained commanding control of the contest for all 38 minutes of play as the two institutions were able to counter on another's offensive success and defensive stops.

Brown jumped out to the early lead in the game as Northern Division Player of the Year Svetozar Stefanovic converted on a man-up chance at the 4:09 mark of the first quarter to stake the Bears to a 1-0 lead.

The advantage lasted 45 seconds into the second period when Devin Lewis deked his defender and twisted a shot into the goal mesh on a man-up chance to knot the game at 1-1 with 7:15 left to play in the first half.  For MIT, the goal ignited a mini-scoring run as Lewis rifled a five-meter penalty shot past Holland at 4:12 before John Preis split the defense to unleash a shot inside the Bears' five meter mark from the wing at even-strength for a 3-1 lead.

Brown halved the deficit before halftime as Corey Schwartz bested MIT goalie Columbus Leonard with a rising shot for an advantage goal at the 1:47 mark for a 3-2 Engineers lead at the break.

For Brown, the deficit disappeared 2:12 into the third period as Gordon Hood scored on a man-up chance, but the Engineers rebuilt their advantage prior to the end of the period as Preis and Alex Mattfolk lit up the scoreboard with natural goals at 5:31 and 3:49, respectively, to give MIT a 5-3 lead entering the final climatic eight minutes of regulation play.

Stefanovic added another goal at 6:50 of the fourth period to move the Bears to within a goal of tying the Engineers, but MIT regained their two-goal lead less than two minutes later when Lewis wrapped a shot around his defender and into the cage for a 6-4 lead with 4:52 left in regulation.

The advantage would not hold up, however, as Hood lofted an shot into the goal at 4:15 with the team


MIT Goals: Devin Lewis (3); John Preis (2); Alex Mattfolk

Brown Goals: Svetozar Stefanovic (3); Gordon Hood (2); Corey Schwartz (2)

Saves: MIT - Columbus Leonard (10) ; Brown - Kent Holland (17)

Exclusions: MIT - 12 ; Brown - 7

Advantage Opportunities: MIT - 2-for-7 ; Brown - 5-for-12

Sprints: MIT - 2-for-6 ; Brown - 4-for-6

Referees: Vaughn Cooper, Mark Koganov