September 1, 2005

New Coach Mercado Has High Expectations for Water Polo

Sept. 1, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT water polo team lost ten athletes from last year's team, but the Engineers are not looking to rebuild. Instead, new head coach Felix Mercado has his team focused and prepared to win right away. Led by the three remaining seniors Grady Snyder, Mark Liao and John Rogers, MIT should be able to retain the firepower that departed sniper Dave Lohrey provided the team last year.

"All three have come into the preseason in great shape," said Mercado. "They have also shown tremendous leadership in and out of the pool and because of that, the incoming freshman have been able to adapt to the team very quickly. I am very excited!"

Other significant improvements for the Engineers include the progression of utility players junior Kevin Amendt and sophomore Morgan Laidlaw. The Orange County connection will be key to the success of the team's defense. The strong defense has also given sophomore goalkeeper Rob Truax a newfound confidence that has enabled him to ease into his new starting position.

"I was a little nervous in the beginning, but now I feel very comfortable manning the goal." said Truax. "This team plays defense so tenaciously and that really makes my job easier."

Newcomers Mike Smith Bronstein, Dallas Chase and Palmer Rosemond are also expected to step in right away and contribute for the Engineers. They will get their first shot this weekend when the team travels to Annapolis, Maryland for the Labor Day Navy Water Polo Invitational. MIT will kick off the invitational against Division 1 powerhouse Univeristy of Pacific on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. before a 6:30 matchup with Division III rival John Hopkins at 6:30 p.m. The Engineers will conclude the tournament on Sunday with games against Slippery Rock University at 10:30 a.m. and one of the top Eastern Division I teams in Bucknell University at 4:30 p.m. Come catch the action during the weekend of September 9-11 when the MIT water polo team will host an Invitational tournament of their own. They will play Harvard University at 7:30 p.m. on September 9th to kick it off!