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After 17-Year Dry Spell, Water Polo Beats Harvard


Amy Yen -- The Tech
Stefan Bewley '01 scores his third goal, tying the game at 9-9. He would later score the winning goal to give MIT an 11-10 victory over Harvard on Tuesday night.

By Chris Brocoum
Staff Reporter

The men's varsity water polo team pulled out an impressive 1110 victory Tuesday evening against Harvard University. The victory ends a 17-year drought.

Lead by the outstanding play of Charlie Wykoff '98, Zac Lee '98, Stefan Bewley '01 and Matt Hausman '01, it was close the entire game as neither team lead by more than three.

MIT started out strong as Lee controlled the opening sprint and Hausman scored on MIT's first possession to give the Engineers the early lead. Harvard seemed slugish at the start and MIT took a 32 lead on two goals by Bewley. Mike McCarrol '99 finished off the quarter with a goal to put MIT on top 42 going into the second.

Unfortunately, Harvard responded and silenced the crowd with a 4-meter and a long two-pointer to take a commanding 74 lead midway through the second period. MIT's offense seemed to stall as the Engineers had difficulty getting the ball into the hole, however MIT's inspired defense kept it close.

Lee scored the first of his two goals late in the second on a hard fast break to revive MIT. The Engineers went into halftime facing just a 75 deficit.

The Engineers came out to the start the second half reinvigorated only to see Harvard pull out to a three point lead. Wykoff gunned a clutch two-pointer to beat the shot clock and bring MIT back within one. Another Harvard score left the Engineers trailing 97.

The fourth quarter saw the crowd go nuts as Lee scored his second goal of the game to start the comeback and bring the Engineers within one. After being fouled in the whole, Hausman had a nice feed off the free throw to Bewley on the right side to tie the game at nine.

Harvard scored again late to take a one point lead. With under two minutes to play, MIT called a timeout. Bewley nailed a huge, game-winning two pointer with 1:05 left to play to give the Engineers the their first lead since early in the second quarter.

Harvard still had a shot though, as the clock wound down, and as they tried to drop it into the hole, goalie Ryan Adams '99 stole the ball and controlled it with 24 seconds left. MIT ran down the clock and as Hausman held the ball the crowd rose to standing ovation.

When asked after the game when the last time MIT beat Harvard, former coach John Benedick said "This has to be the first time since 1981. I am very proud of this years team and first year coach Jeff Ma!"

Benedick later clarified that October 16, 1980 was in fact the last time the Engineers had defeated Harvard.

The historic win marks the first time MIT (31 league record) has beaten Harvard in 17 years. Only one question remains: When is is the next game?

Simple: MIT is hosting a tournament this Saturday all day at the Alumni Pool. The marquee game is at 7 p.m. versus Boston College. See you there