CLAREMONT, Calif. – Competing in the Gary Troyer Tournament for the first time in program history, MIT's water polo team capped the two-day event winning three of four contests. Tech commenced the tournament with back-to-back wins against Caltech and La Verne on Friday, October 3 before claiming an 11-8 victory against Claremont Mudd Scripps in their final game on Saturday, October 4.
Troyer, who passed away in December 2011, was a long-time swimming and water polo coach for Pomona-Pitzer, one of the three hosts for the tournament. He was the recipient of the SCIAC Distinguished Service Award in 2007 and inducted into the Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. 20 teams competed in the weekend tournament, including Northern Division foes Fordham University, Harvard University and Iona College.
Tech commenced the tournament with a convincing 16-4 win over Caltech, thanks to four goals from freshman Kyle Archer (Clovis, Calif.) and three goals from junior Matthew Orton (Los Altos Hill, Calif.). MIT raced out to a 5-0 advantage after eight minutes and never looked back. They led, 9-0, at the break and 14-2 after three frames. Sophomore Kelly McGee (Pasadena, Calif.) notched two goals – one in the first and one in the third – while six other players registered one marker. Sophomore Nolan Kruse (Orcutt, Calif.) finished the contest with nine stops, including four saves in the opening quarter.
Against the University of La Verne, the Engineers earned an early two-goal lead that ballooned into an 8-2 advantage at the break. MIT outscored the Leopards, 7-5, over the final two frames and received four goals from sophomore Zach Churukian (Menlo Park, Calif.), including three tallies in the final session as the Engineers earned a 15-7 win. Junior Kale Rogers (Newberg, Ore.) scored three goals against the Leopards, while classmate Ory Tasman (Orlando, Fla.) registered two markers.
MIT began their final day of competition with a 16-7 setback to No. 16 Whittier College. Tech fell behind by five goals before Tasman and sophomore Patrick Everett (Ann Arbor, Mich.) each scored once during the second quarter to bring the Engineers within seven at halftime. Rogers netted a pair in the third, while Churukian and Tasman combined for three goals during the final two sessions.
In their final contest against Claremont Mudd Scripps, Tasman and Rogers registered three goals apiece, while Churukian notched two goals in the opening session. McGee recorded his only goal of the contest with one second remaining in the first quarter and junior Zach Nelson (La Jolla, Calif.) scored twice – once in the second and once in the third. MIT and CMS were tied, 4-4, at the break, but the Engineers pushed ahead with goals from Rogers, Tasman and Nelson.
MIT returns to conference play next Saturday, October 11 when they travel to Brown University for a 10:30 a.m. contest followed by a 5:30 p.m. game against Connecticut College.