CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With the 2013 season slowly coming to a close, the MIT water polo team returned home for the first time since mid-October to host a weekend of games. On the first day of the three-game weekend, the Engineers defeated Fordham University in a low-scoring game by a score of 9-7. They then fell to St. Francis College later that day, 12-5. Tech is now 10-12 on the season.
Against the Rams, Tech was led by freshman Zach Churukian (Menlo Park, Calif.) and sophomore Ory Tasman (Orlando, Fla.), who both scored two goals apiece. On top of his two goals, Churukian also had four steals, one assist and one ejection drawn. Freshman goalkeeper Nolan Kruse (Orcutt, Calif.) did a good job in net, notching 10 steals throughout the four periods and allowing just seven goals.
The two teams were evenly matched for the majority of the game; both scored just one goal in the first period and an additional four in the second to remain tied at five going into the third quarter. Fordham took the lead three minutes in but the score was tied up, once again, 30 seconds later. Sophomore Kale Rogers (Newberg, Ore.) gave the Engineers a one-goal lead going into the final quarter when he scored his only goal of the game with three minutes left on the clock.
MIT took a two-goal lead a minute into the final quarter when senior Michael Farid (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) scored his first of the game but the lead was lessened two minutes later with another Fordham goal. With 53 seconds remaining in the game, Tasman scored the Engineers' ninth goal and MIT was able to hold onto the lead until the clock ran out.
In the game against St. Francis that night, Tech played from behind during the first quarter, allowing two goals before Churukian got MIT on the board with a minute remaining on the clock. With the score at 4-1 a minute into the second quarter, Kruse had a great block when a Terrier took a point blank shot at the net. Following a clean pass from Churukian to Cheney that found the back of the net and another by Tasman, the Engineers went into the third quarter trailing 7-3.
Tech had a strong third quarter, scoring a goal of its own and holding the Terriers to just two goals. Freshman Ian Zaun (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), who was replacing Kruse in net, had a number of impressive blocks throughout the quarter. In the final period, with a score of 9-4, Tasman took four back-to-back shots but, each time, the goalie managed to punch the ball out of the way. MIT took a number of strong shots throughout the remaining minutes, with a shot from Tasman finding the back of the net with just over two minutes remaining. The game ended with a St. Francis victory.
The Cardinal and Gray will return to the pool bright and early tomorrow morning, hosting Iona College at 9:30 a.m. The four seniors on the team who will be playing in their last home game for the Engineers will be honored before the game begins.