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Women's Water Polo Wins 3 Matches at Amherst

By Darren Castro
Staff Reporter

The MIT women's water polo team earned victories in three of its four games at the Eastern Water Polo Association North Division Tournament held this past weekend in Amherst, Mass., to improve its record on the year to 62.

MIT defeated Amherst College 107 and lost to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 124. MIT was credited with two additional victories due to forfeits by Bowdoin College and Bates College.

The leading scorers for MIT for the tournament were Maroula Bratakos G, with 5 goals and 2 assists, Cheryl Klepser G, who recorded 4 goals and 3 assists, and Amy Smith G, who added 3 goals and 1 assist.

MIT is next in action April 2123 in an EWPA North Division Tournament at Harvard University. MIT needs to finish in the top four teams of the North Division to qualify for the Eastern Regional Championships the following weekend in Providence, Rhode Island.

The loss to UMass came in MIT's opening game of the Saturday morning tournament. The teams opened with a defensive first quarter, with action up and down the length of the pool. UMass tallied first with 3:58 remaining in the first quarter, but Bratakos answered back for MIT 14 seconds later with a nice individual effort to beat her defender and the goalie to tie the score at 11.

UMass scored the next 3 goals, but Bratakos cut the deficit to 42 with a 6-on-5 goal with 1:46 remaining in the half. UMass countered with a 6-on-5 goal of its own 17 seconds later, but MIT cut the UMass lead back to 53 with yet another 6-on-5 goal.

Following some patient passing, Shan Lee '98, who assisted on three of MIT's 4 goals in the game, found Smith open with a pass across the front of the goal and MIT trailed by only 2 with under a minute in the half.

However, UMass notched 4 unanswered goals over the next 10 minutes of play to stretch its lead to 93. MIT appeared to get worn down physically during the second half and gave up goals on breakaways.

Smith got MIT's last goal on a long shot as the shot clock was expiring with 4:46 remaining in the game. MIT could get no closer, and UMass scored 3 more times to account for the final 124 score.

For the game, MIT strugggled offensively, and was outshot 1910. The only offensive effort was due to individual drives 6-on-5 plays.

The biggest problem was their difficulty in establishing the hole set in their offense. Klepser, MIT's primary hole set and leading scorer on the year with 14 goals, was held to just 2 shots by stifling defense.

Team rebounds against Amherst

MIT rebounded well in their second game Saturday to defeat Amherst College. Smith got MIT on the scoreboard first as she drove and scored off a pass from Klepser in the hole. Smith then returned the favor less than a minute later as she set up Klepser in the hole for a 20 MIT lead at the end of the first quarter. Amherst scored two of the next three goals to cut MIT's lead to 32.

With 4:21 remaining in the first half, Bratakos and Klepser took over to send MIT on a 50 run. Bratakos drove and received a pass from Klepser in the hole for the first goal, and fired home another while MIT enjoyed a 6-on-4 advantage as Amherst committed 2 major fouls. Klepser scored the third goal following a long pass up the pool to Hilary Price '97 who then centered to an open Klepser in front of the goal.

Bratakos setup the fourth goal with a steal and a long pass to send Lee breaking in alone against the goalie. Lee continued her accurate shooting as she tallied her eighth goal of the season on her eighth shot of the year. Klepser notched the last goal of the run as she scored in the hole following a pass in from Bratakos. Amherst then scored just before the half ended to cut MIT's lead to 83.

Amherst scored the first two goals of the second half to close within 3 goals, but Adriane Chapman '98 extended MIT's lead by scoring a 6-on-5 goal. Amherst then scored two of the last three goals to account for the final score of 107. MIT played much better offensively as it outshot Amherst 2815 and had five different players score goals.