Engineers Down Iona for Seventh Place at Eastern Championship

Engineers Down Iona for Seventh Place at Eastern Championship

Courtesy of Collegiate Water Polo Association

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Devin Lewis and Mark Artz both tallied hat-tricks as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers used a 5-2 scoring advantage in the first period to build a lead and never look back in the seventh place game of the 2009 Men's Eastern Championship.

The win marks the second consecutive year the Engineers have felled the Gaels in the seventh place game as MIT stopped Iona 10-9 at the 2008 Eastern Championship.

Playing in front of a home crowd, the Engineers did not disappoint jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead exactly two minutes into the game as Artz finished on a man-up chance.  The Gaels countered 32 seconds later with a man-up goal by Seth Tasman at the 5:28 mark, but the Engineers structured a three-goal run with scored by John Preis, Brian Gardiner and Lewis with 5:14, 4:04 and 3:40 left in the first period, respectively, to take a 4-1 lead.

Iona responded with a score by Tasman at 1:31, but Preis buried another advantage chance for MIT to make it 5-2 after eight minutes of play.

Neither team could solve the other's defense for most of the second period as a man-up goal by Matt Joslyn with 4:25 left in the firs thalf was the sole tally of the period.

Iona pulled to within a goal to open the third period as Joe Przekota rifled a five-meter penalty shot past MIT netminder Columbus Leonard at the 6:56 mark to make it 6-5 in favor of the Engineers, but another MIT man-up score at 4:48 by Artz made it 6-4.

The teams repeated the pattern as Przekota and Lewis exchanged markers at 4:28 and 3:08, respectively, to keep it a two-goal game at 7-5 before Artz split the Gaels' defense for a shot over the left shoulder of Iona goalie Erik Lilly with 1:56 flashing on the clock to give MIT an 8-5 lead.

However, Iona refused to be felled easily by the Engineering Beavers as Joslyn and Tasman unleashed scoring shots at 5:31 and 4:44 to make it 8-7.  Needing a score for insurance, Lewis answered with a blast from the wing with 2:51 to go to net the eventual game-winner and return a two-goal margin to MIT.

The Gaels attempted to rally back in the closing minutes with a man-up goal by Emre Erdogan with 43 seconds to play to move to within a goal at 9-8.  Following a failed MIT possession, Iona regained the ball with 20 seconds left on the clock, but an offensive foul before the Gaels could set up a play wiped out the possibility of overtime and handed the Engineers the one-goal victory.

In cage, Leonard made six saves in recording the victory, while Lilly stopped four shots for the Gaels.

Overall, the game was a rematch of the third place game at the 2009 Northern Championship, hosted across town at Harvard University, a contest which the Engineers captured 10-8.  In addition, the victory raises MIT's record to 3-0 against Iona this year following a 9-6 victory during the regular season.

MIT Goals:
Mark Artz (3); Devin Lewis (3); John Preis (2); Brian Gardiner

Iona Goals: Seth Tasman (3); Joe Przekota (2); Matt Joslyn (2); Emre Erdogan

Saves: MIT - Columbus Leonard (6) ; Iona - Erik Lilly (4)

Exclusions: MIT - 9 ; Iona - 5

Advantage Opportunities: MIT - 3-for-5 ; Iona - 4-for-9

Sprints: MIT - 0-for-4 ; Iona- 4-for-4

Referees: Humberto Navarro, Val Vasilchikov