Water polo continues trend with victory over BC
By Jeffrey Ma
The varsity water polo team continued its trend of improved play last Tuesday night at the Alumni Pool with its finest performance to date, an impressive 16-7 win over Division I powerhouse Boston College.
"We're really are starting to come together as a team," said Co-captain Jim Lee '93. "It's really good timing, considering we have the New England Championships this weekend and the Division III Easterns next."
Lee, one of the most feared and controversial players in New England Water Polo, was a major factor in the Beavers' upset of BC, scoring two goals and playing splendid defense. BC was previously ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation.
It was Lee's beautiful pass to Alou MacAlou '92 two minutes into the first quarter which set the trend for the game as MacAlou spun and scored the first of his four goals. All in all, though, the first half of the game was really a defensive battle with the likes of Alan Liu '94 and Greg Shank '94 stumping the feared BC offense.
Goalie Chad Gunnlaugsson '93 read the BC players like books, swatting down nearly every one of their offerings. In doing so, Gunnlaugsson played his best game of the season, displaying the talent which has made him a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Gunnlausson credits his improved play to
the team's new blood. "The
four freshmen are my favorites. They've really made a difference," he exclaimed.
Freshmen Jon Pfautz, Dave Brandenberger, Javier Nazario and Mike Chatwin have served to provide depth to a team which in past years has been only six or seven players deep. Nazario, a prolific goal scorer, scored what could have been the season's most important goal in the second quarter of the game on a pass from Jeffrey Ma '94. This goal made the score 3-1 and set the the tone for what lay ahead. The first half ended with MIT leading 4-3.
The second half proved to be a testament to Coach Jon Benedick's preachings. At the half, he explained, "The team that wants this more will win it." MIT responded well to his and Assistant Coach Duncan McCallum's inspirational direction, as they served to out-muscle and out-hustle BC, blowing them out 12-4 in the second half.
Buoyed by the fine performances of Ma, with four goals and six assists in his finest performance this season by far, and Tony Scherer '94, with two man-up goals, the Beavers dominated, scoring on almost every one of their offensive possessions. Their driving was relentless and their pressing defense left BC players wondering what had hit them.
It was a truly rewarding victory, in part because of a recent game between the two schools. BC beat the Beavers in a physical game one and a half weeks ago, leaving many of the MIT players battered, bloodied and bruised from the BC cheap shots.
Noticeably absent from Tuesday night's victory were Isy Goldwasser '92 and Mike Liu '93. Goldwasser, a co-captain and perhaps the team's best pure-shooter, was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Liu and Dave Kern '94 have been stalwarts throughout the season, providing experience and crack shooting off the bench.
The team looks forward to this weekend, when it will play in the Division I New England Championships. The team hopes to carry Tuesday's momentum over tot he opening game, also against BC.
The Beavers will conclude their season the following weekend by hosting the Eastern Division III Championships. The Beavers are currently seeded first in the tournament and should be aided by the fine fan support. The Alum
ni Pool should be rocking dur
ing the November 9 weekend,
as MIT hopes to capture its
first-ever Division III Eastern championship.
Jeffrey Ma '94 is a member of the men's water polo team.