Brown Pulls Away from Water Polo in Second Half at CWPA Eastern Championship

Brown Pulls Away from Water Polo in Second Half at CWPA Eastern Championship

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Gordon Hood and James McNamara both scored pairs of goals as the No. 20-nationally ranked Bears of Brown University outscored the MIT, 7-3, in the second half to take an 8-4 victory over the Engineers to reach the fifth place game at the 2010 CWPA Eastern Championship. 

In a defensive battle marked by nine first-half shots between the two programs, Brown jumped out to the early lead as Corey Schwartz broke the ice on a man-up chance at 4:47 to put the Bears in front 1-0.  The lead lasted 22 seconds as Northern Division Rookie of the Year, Craig Cheney, unleashed a shot on an advantage chance at 4:25 to knot the game and set-up 16:36 of scoreless water polo.

Following naught in the offensive zone for both MIT and Brown in the second period, both teams were desperate to put something into the net.  The Engineers finally managed to break the drought with 3:49 left in the third period as John Preis drilled a shot into the cage.

The goal was the last of the period for MIT as Brown ripped off four markers starting with a strike by Northern Division Player of the Year, Svetozar Stefanovic, 26 seconds after Preis' rainmaker.

Brown's scoring deluge in the period continued as McNamara accepted a long pass from goalie Max Lubin, rolled to his left to shake a defender and lined a shot into the cage at 2:03 to put the Bears in front to stay.  Stefanovic added another score at 1:13 and Marcus Gartner closed the door on the third with a man-up tally with 26 seconds on the clock for a 5-2 Brown lead through 24 minutes of action.

The teams traded 6-on-5 goals to open the fourth period with Hood (7:27) and Preis (5:23) beating their opponent's goalkeepers to make it 6-3 and keep the lead at three goals.

Brown cleared up any doubts about an MIT comeback with a natural marker by Cyrus Mohdehi at 3:02 before Hood converted on a man-up chance at 2:10 to push the margin to five scores at 8-3.

MIT attempted to chip away at the lead as Preis completed a hat-trick with his third goal at the 22 seconds mark, but the clock and Brown's defense kept the Engineers at bay the rest of the way for the 8-4 final score.

The key to the game was Brown's ability to convert on man-up chances as the Bears cashed in on four-of-seven opportunities, while MIT managed a two-for-nine performance.

Between the pipes, Lubin picked up the victory with eight saves, while Columbus Leonard turned aside six shots in suffering the loss for the Engineers.

Brown, which improved to 4-0 versus MIT this season, will next be in action at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 21 at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium in the CWPA Eastern Championship fifth place game versus either Johns Hopkins University or Fordham University. The Bears are 1-0 against both JHU (10-9 W OT) and Fordham (16-8 W) to date this season.

For MIT, the Engineers will face the loser of a consolation game between Fordham and Johns Hopkins at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday in the seventh place contest.  In 2010, MIT is 1-2 versus Fordham (8-7 L, 13-10 W, 9-8 L) and 1-1 versus Johns Hopkins (14-13 L, 9-7 W) as the Engineers fell to the Blue Jays in the opening round of the Division III Eastern Championship tournament but defeated Hopkins in the title game.

Overall, MIT is now 3-14 all-time at the Eastern Championship finishing eighth (2004), seventh (2006, 2008, 2009) and sixth (2003) with victories over Iona College (9-8 W, 2009; 10-9 W, 2008) and Bucknell (9-6 W, 2008).