September 18, 2008

Engineers' Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Harvard

Sept. 18, 2008

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A late rally came up short as MIT lost to Harvard, 10-9, in men's water polo action Thursday night. In a scene reminiscent of last year's match with the Crimson, the Engineers held a one-goal advantage entering the final period only to be outscored 3-1 over the last eight minutes. Mike Smith-Bronstein led the Tech attack with five goals in the losing effort. MIT has now dropped five straight to its cross-town rivals.

The teams battled each other in a close first half, with Harvard taking a 5-4 advantage into the break. In the third period, MIT capitalized on three penalty shot scores by Smith-Bronstein as part of a 4-0 run that gave the Engineers a two-goal lead late in the quarter.

Tech entered the final frame ahead by one and had a golden opportunity to extend the lead just over a minute in as sophomore John Preis found himself with a breakaway chance. However, a pair of Preis' shots ricocheted off the crossbar and the Crimson came back to tie the game at eight less than 30 seconds later.

With just under two and a half minutes remaining, Harvard sophomore Jeff Lee fired a shot from inside two meters that was originally deflected by goalkeeper Columbus Leonard. Despite the initial stop, the ball would float just over the goal line to give the Crimson a 9-8 lead. Leading scorer David Tune would later extend Harvard's lead to two goals, setting up the Engineers' late comeback attempt.

Junior Mark Artz provided hope for the MIT faithful with a goal and 17 seconds still remaining. From there, it was a scramble for Tech to regain possession in hopes of getting off a final shot. However, Harvard was able to secure the ball and the victory as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Artz contributed three goals to the home attack while junior Rob Kalwarowsky also provided a goal for the Cardinal and Gray. Leonard made eight saves in net for the Engineers.

MIT returns to the Zesiger pool tomorrow night, Friday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. as it hosts Bucknell.