Water Polo Is Eighth-RankedBy Wesley S. Chao
The women’s water polo team had its best season ever this past year, coming in fourth place at the Northern Divisional playoffs. With an impressive 13-3 record and two unofficial wins against then-seventh ranked Whitter and Mount Holyoke Colleges, the Lady Engineers finished the season ranked eighth in the country among Division III teams. They were the only non-West coast team to be ranked in the Top 10.
Leading the way for MIT were Alexandra H. Techet G and Andrea J. Harsanyi ’02, the team’s two leading scorers, and Adriane P. Chapman G, who picked up First Team All-East honors along the way for her brilliant defensive play and counter-attacking prowess. They were complemented by what first-year coach Jeffrey Ma ’94 called, “the fastest team I’ve ever coached.” The team’s speed was undoubtedly due to its ten varsity swimmers, including school recordholders Deirdre Dunn ’99, Jennifer Navarro ’00, and co-captain Lauren Erb ’01.
For all their speed, however, the MIT women couldn’t overcome an experienced Brown University team at this year’s Northern Division tournament, held on Patriot’s Day Weekend at Wesleyan College. Battling hard to stay even with the smaller but more assured Bruins, the Lady Engineers’ youth showed through as they gave up 3 goals in the fourth quarter to lose 11-6.The loss to Brown ensured that MIT would not finish in the top three, and therefore narrowly missed what would have been an unprecedented berth in the Division I Eastern Championships.
Showing their resolve, they returned to Wesleyan the next morning, and soundly defeated Dartmouth and Wesleyan to finish fourth in the tournament overall. The women then capped off their season with a perfect 4-0 record to win a tournament at Williams College in late April.
Ma, who came one win short of making Easterns with the MIT men’s team last year, said of the Eastern Championships, “Any time you set a goal that you’ve been working hard all season to achieve and you don’t accomplish it, it’s very disappointing, but I’m very excited, because this is a young team with a lot of potential.” He adds, “With the kind of talent that we’re getting next year, I think we can build on this season, and go much farther.”