Water Polo Closes Regular Season With Losses To No. 13 Harvard and No. 16 Brown

Water Polo Closes Regular Season With Losses To No. 13 Harvard and No. 16 Brown

THE BASICS:

- Scores: No. 13 Harvard University 11, MIT 7; No. 16 Brown University 13, MIT 10

- Records: MIT (9-17, 2-8 NWPC), Harvard (20-7, 8-3 NWPC), Brown (18-11, 5-5 NWPC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Blodgett Pool)

- The Lead: In its final regular season games of 2017, the MIT water polo team was edged by No. 13 Harvard University, 11-7, and No. 16 Brown University, 13-10. Both games were Northeast Water Polo Conference matches and had implications on the seedings for the upcoming postseason tournament. MIT (2-8 NWPC) earned the fifth-seed, Harvard (8-3 NWPC) took the third seed and Brown (5-5 NWPC) took the fourth-seed in the double-elimination tournament slated to start in two weeks.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. HARVARD:

- Trailing 3-0 early in the second, MIT scored its first goal on a strike by freshman Kevin Downey (Greenwich, Conn.). That goal sparked some life in the MIT offense as the Engineers continued to chip away at Harvard's lead until the deficit was down to two (8-6) in the third.

- After Harvard went ahead 8-4 in the third, MIT got goals by Peter Calvaresi (Malvern, Pa.) and Christian Schillinger (Orinda, Calif.) to climb back into the game. However, the homestanding Crimson held the Engineers without a goal until there was 3:51 left in the match and scored three of their own to take the NWPC contest by an 11-7 final.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Downey registered a hat trick, while Huibregtse added two goals for the Engineers in the effort.

- Defensively, Schillinger registered one block and a steal, while Huibregtse led the way for MIT with a pair of drawn ejections. In net, Hayden Niederreiter (Visalia, Calif.) stopped the ball four times and stole the ball twice for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. BROWN:

- In the nightcap at Brown, MIT found itself in an early deficit as the Engineers trailed the Bears 4-2 after the first quarter as the Engineers got goals by Luka Knezevic (Zagreb, Croatia) and Evan Kim (Irvine, Calif.) over the opening eight minutes of play.

- MIT was able to hang with Brown and was ultimately able to tie the game at 7-7 with 17-seconds to play in the third quarter on a goal by freshman Myles Stapelberg (Monarch Beach, Calif.). The defense played well enough to hold Brown to just three goals over the middle quarters which put themselves in a position to win.

- Brown scored with four seconds to play in the third to retake the lead 8-7 before MIT tied the game once again at 8-8 on a goal by Knezevic and at 9-9 on a goal by Huibregtse. With 3:24 left in regulation, Brown's Rico Burke put the Bears ahead for the final time as Brown claimed the match by a 13-10 fina.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Huibregtse registered a team-high five goals in the effort and was joined in the scoring column by Kim (2), Knezevic, Downey and freshman Chris Womack (Redlands, Calif.).

- Defensively, Calvaresi drew a trio of ejections, while Stapelberg and Knezevic both stole the ball twice. In net, Niederreiter made six saves and tallied a trio of steals.

UP NEXT:

- MIT and Brown will meet again in the two team's first game at the Northeast Water Polo Conference Championship Tournament which is slated for Friday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Harvard University.

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