Engineers Top Mercyhurst, 12-10, to Claim Small College Crown

Oct. 28, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT's water polo team captured its second title of the weekend on Sunday afternoon by virtue of a 12-10 win over Division II Mercyhurst College in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Small College Championship game. Less than 24 hours earlier, the Engineers defeated Washington and Jefferson College to claim the CWPA Division III Eastern Championship.

The entire tournament was hosted by MIT in the Zesiger Center Pool.

Sophomore Devin Lewis, who led the Cardinal and Gray with 14 goals over the course of the weekend, was named the Division III Tournament Most Valuable Player. Sophomore goalkeeper Nick Souza and senior Morgan Laidlaw earned First Team accolades, while teammates Mike Smith-Bronstein and John Preis were named to the Second Team.

Sunday afternoon's meeting with Mercyhurst was a tense battle from start to finish. A defensive-minded first half from both sides saw MIT take a 4-2 lead into the break, but a three-goal outburst to open the third quarter stretched Tech's advantage to 7-2, as the Engineers threatened to bust the game open. However, the Lakers stormed back with five unanswered goals to even the score at 7-7 heading into the final period. The teams traded goals to begin the fourth, but a Brian Gardiner man-advantage strike sparked a three-goal run that put MIT up, 12-9. Mercyhurst cut the lead to 12-10 by converting a penalty throw with 30 seconds remaining, but the Engineers subsequently ran out the final half-minute to seal the title.

Rookie Preis bagged five goals to push his team-leading total to 68, while the Los Angeles, Calif., native also drew two ejections. Lewis added three tallies, while Smith-Bronstein had a remarkable game, notching three goals, three steals and three assists.

Junior Palmer Rosemond came up big once again on the defensive end of the pool for the Engineers, making five steals while also contributing two assists. Mark Artz also pitched in with a pair of helpers, while Gardiner added a steal and an assist to his goal.

MIT will return to action next weekend when it will host the CWPA Northern Division Championships, on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4.