It’s been an emotional ride for the Engineers this season after losing seven players from last year’s North Atlantic Division champion team, but the returning group of seniors managed to hold on to lead the team to club nationals for the third straight year.
The Engineers defeated Boston College 6-5 in the division title game last Saturday to make their record a perfect 14-0 and justify their No. 4 rank in the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s National Club Poll.
After coming back from a three-goal deficit, Boston College almost tied the game with twenty seconds left. However, co-captain goalie Kelly L. Cavazos ’07 blocked the shot to ensure the Engineer’s victory.
“When we gained possession of the ball with six seconds left on the game clock, I was on such a high,” said co-captain Lindsey R. Sheehan ’07. “The win just meant so much more because of the challenges we’ve faced this year.”
MIT’s team effort shone through as six different women contributed to the score. The third co-captain, Christine E. Winiarz ‘07, Analiese DiConti ’10, Kristen L. Cook G, Aditi Nagaraj ’10, Lisa C. Tacoronte ’10, and Sheehan each put a point on the board. Cavazos also contributed with a tournament high 13 saves which earned her “Player of the Week” for the league.
To get to the title game, MIT toppled Wellesley 9-1, Bates College 11-2, and Boston University 12-1. Winiarz was the leading scorer for the weekend tallying 13 of MIT’s 39 goals. Cook and DiConti also contributed seven goals apiece. Rookie Rachel E. Price ’10 scored her first goal, helping the Engineers beat BU.
With half of the team represented by incoming freshman, the Engineers had a demanding year as they tried to rebuild their squad. “I am so proud to be a part of this team!” Cavazos exclaimed. “We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and we’re definitely going to give it our all at Nationals.”
The Engineers will fight for their place among the nation’s top club teams starting with Columbia University on May 4. The tournament will take place at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. In last year’s club nationals, MIT finished fifth of the 16 teams competing.