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Water Polo Clinches Easterns Seed

Despite Brutal 16-0 Loss to Umass, MIT Edges Dartmouth 3-2 in Tourny

By Jeffrey J. Colton

SPORTS WRITER

This past weekend was huge for the women’s water polo team. The Northern Tournament, which consisted of eight teams, would decide on who would travel to Princeton University later in the year for the Eastern tournament. Only the top four teams would go, meaning MIT had to win their first game of the tourney to move up to top four.

With their first game against Dartmouth College, the Engineers knew they had a good chance to make the Eastern Tournament. The game started off in the favor of Dartmouth with a goal scored on a man-up situation early in the game. Immediately after coach Jeff Ma called a time out and ran a play that the girls had been working on during the week. “We had been working on it all week and I knew it would work,” said Coach Jeff Ma.

Andrea Harsanyi ’03 swam around a pick and drove wide open toward the goal, tying the game for the beavers. The game hereafter was dominated by MIT despite the low scoring hardly shows it. Although the Engineers allowed less than ten shots the whole game, they unfortunately hit the crossbar numerous times keeping the final score a close 3-2. Their strong defense showed they belong at the Eastern tournament.

MIT falls to UMass, Brown

Their next match, a semi-final game, would be against top-ranked team UMass-Amherst who is currently seeded thirteenth in Division I. Amherst has travelled to California several times this year to more competitive play of California teams. The Engineers proved to be no match for a top team such as UMass. Jennifer Eppig ’03, who has been a big contributor on the Tech’s defensive end, would sit out the rest of the tournament with asthma problems.

Within the first forty seconds of the game UMass scored two goals and set the tone for the rest of the match. Their fast swimmers and good ball control allowed them to dominate the match. Later on in the game they slowed the tempo down, and their experience overpowered the young Engineers team. Scoring a total of sixteen on the game, UMass’ tough pressure defense held onto a shutout giving them a 16-0 win and a chance for the championships.

MIT played Brown next, who obtained Wellesley’s franchise player as a transfer this year and has played well most of the season. Their new player led off the game with a goal giving Brown a 1-0 lead. The game stayed close as the Engineers battled a 5-2 deficit at the end of the first quarter. However, Brown’s depth kept pounding the ladies, knocking them down again and again. MIT stayed tough however and kept on getting up and maintained a close position by the end of the first half. Later in the game, Brown’s strength finally prevailed and it led them to a 13-3 victory over the Engineers.

MIT finished fourth in the tournament out of twelve teams and secured a seed in the Eastern tournament, held on April 29-30. The Engineers are currently 9-4 with one tournament left. Related stories: