MIT Outlasts Iona, 13-9, at the CWPA Championship

Sophomore Nolan Kruse
Sophomore Nolan Kruse

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After falling to Johns Hopkins University on the first day of the 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship, the MIT men's water polo team rebounded with a 13-9 victory against Iona College on Saturday afternoon at the United States Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall. With the win, the Cardinal and Gray improve to 15-16 overall and 4-1 this season against the Gaels.

MIT jumped out to a 4-2 lead, thanks to four different goal scorers in the opening session. Tech's lead increased to 9-6 after two quarters following three goals from junior Ory Tasman (Orlando, Fla.), and one from classmate Kale Rogers (Newberg, Ore.) and sophomore Zach Churukian (Menlo Park, Calif.).

Entering the second half, junior Matthew Orton (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) sparked a 4-0 run to push the Engineers ahead 13-6. Orton tallied two goals in the third session, while Churukian and sophomore Patrick Everett (Ann Arbor, Mich.) netted one goal, respectively.

Iona trimmed the deficit with three fourth quarter goals – two from senior Jake Lloyd (Sinking Spring, Pa.) and one from junior Geraldo Sanchez Rivera (Carolina, Puerto Rico), but it wasn't enough to overcome a seven-point deficit. MIT's offense was held scoreless during the final eight minutes, but did register four shots.

MIT concluded the contest with 30 shots, while Iona recorded a game-high 41. The Gaels finished with four power play goals – three more than the Engineers – but MIT won three of the four sprints, including two by Churukian. Tasman paced all players with three goals, while Llyod and Sanchez Rivera each led the Gaels with a pair.

Sophomores Nolan Kruse (Orcutt, Calif.) and Ian Zaun (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) each recorded 16 minutes between the pipes for MIT. Kruse, who started the contest, turned away eight shots, while Zaun stopped two attempts. Iona senior Mike Pufunt (Palos Heights, Ill.) and junior Matt McCrudden (Fort Washington, Pa.) also split time in net and combined for eight stops.

MIT returns to the pool tomorrow at 10:20 a.m. when they face Northern Division foe Fordham University. Iona also is in action tomorrow, as they'll face Washington & Jefferson at 9:00 a.m.