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Men's Water Polo Wins Division III Eastern

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Sports Editor

The men's water polo team defeated Johns Hopkins University 139 on Sunday to become the Division III Eastern champions.

Earlier in the weekend tournament at Alumni Pool, they handily defeated Tufts University (177), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (144), and Lehman College (193).

Stefan Bewley '01 scored six goals to lead the Engineers in the championship game. Captain Zac Lee '98 was named the Division III Eastern MVP. Lee, goalie Ryan Adams '99, Matt Hausman '01, and Bewley were all named First Team All Eastern Division III.

Additionally, first year coach Jeff Ma '96 was recognized as Coach of the Year.

From here the team hopes to defeat St. Francis this weekend and earn a berth in the upcoming Division I Eastern Championship at Princeton University where they could qualify for nationals.

Strong start against Hopkins

The Beavers beat Hopkins despite a major scoring lull in the third quarter.

Right at the beginning, Hausman scored a two-pointer and then Bewley scored a shot off a drive. After another Bewley goal and a point by Hopkins, the first quarter ended in MIT's favor at 41.

The Beavers began the second quarter strongly with two goals, one by Bewley and one by Mike McCarroll '99 off a four-meter penalty shot drawn by Lee, bringing MIT's lead to 61.

At that point, with about five minutes remaining in the half, "Our offense pretty much stalled out due to a bunch of careless passes and turnovers," Ma said.

Hopkins scored twice to end the half at 63.

MIT scoreless in third quarter

MIT's offensive problems continued in the third quarter, and Hopkins scored two more unanswered points, one off a man-down situation.

Ma said he was "a little worried at that point, but not really too much because they weren't doing enough against our defense."

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Beavers drew a quick ejection and McCarroll scored a goal on MIT's traditional "42" man-up play to end the scoring slump.

Hopkins very quickly turned the ball over when Charlie Wykoff '98 drew an ejection for another man-up, and Bewley scored his fourth goal to bring MIT to 85.

Hopkins didn't quit, however, and got a couple of quick goals, including one when a Hopkins player taunted the MIT bench.

Lee passed to Hausman on a goal-throw play to make the score 97, which was quickly answered by a goal from Hopkins.

Then, Bewley scored a two-pointer - "a beautiful cross-cage skip shot," said Ma - to bring MIT to 118.

Hopkins came down and scored another goal, but the Beavers answered right back, running the "33" man-up play which caught Hopkins by surprise. Mark Leibowitz was left totally open in the wing, and took the ball to the goalie for a score.

Hausman finished off the game with an insurance goal.

Seeded 5th against St. Francis

This weekend's tournament at Brown University will pit MIT against St. Francis, whom they lost to earlier in the season. However, "we're playing much better now, so [we] have a shot at knocking them off," Ma said.

MIT is seeded 5th, their highest seed in recent years. The top four teams from the tournament will go on to the Division I Eastern Championship at Princeton.

Ma named coach of the year

Ma said he was excited by his award, but called it "a testament to how well the guys played."

He said he really enjoyed coaching the team this year, his first back at MIT since playing on the team for four years, lettering three times. Last year he coached at Wellesley College.

Ma, a part-time coach, works in product marketing for Interdimensions, a Cambridge software company.

Chris Brocoum contributed to the reporting in this article.