Engineers Progressing Despite Losses to Div. I Opponents

Sept. 17, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - MIT's water polo team traveled to Colorado Springs this past weekend to compete against some of the best teams in the country, and while the Tech squad fell short against No. 18 Air Force, 16-2, and No. 20 Brown, 12-11 in overtime, the young Engineers (2-6) continued their progression.

Saturday's first match was against highly ranked Air Force (5-4), and the Falcons used their home pool advantage to put tremendous pressure on MIT. Knowing that their opponents from Massachusetts wouldn't be used to the high Colorado altitude, the Falcons came at the Cardinal and Gray full throttle. As a result, Air Force led 8-1 after the first half.

Fatigue wore on Tech and it could only manage one more goal in the second half. Freshmen Devin Lewis and Mark Artz supplied the team's goals.

The second game, against No. 20 Brown (3-1), was a different story. Trailing 5-1 deep into the third quarter, the Engineers went on a 7-2 run to briefly take the lead in the final period. Spearheading the comeback was Artz, who scored three goals in regulation, including the tally that sent the game into overtime deadlocked at nine.

MIT quickly fell down in overtime, 11-9, before rallying to re-tie the game at 11 on goals by Devin Lewis (his third of the game) and Palmer Rosemond (his second). However, with just 23 seconds remaining, the Bears drew a power play, which they converted to give themselves a 12-11 lead that they would not relinquish.

Helping keep the Engineers in the game early was freshman Nick Souza, who had 12 saves.

"Our power play again hurt us but I was happy with the way we bounced back against Brown," said head coach Felix Mercado. "I am very happy with the progression of this team. I still think we have a lot of work but I am happy."

Tech continues its participation in the Air Force Invitational on Sunday when it takes on La Verne at 8:00 a.m. and California Baptist at 11:30 a.m.