The MIT water polo team opened its season with a record of 2-1 at the 2015 Bruno Classic, hosted by Harvard University and Brown University over Labor Day weekend. The Engineers, ranked No. 19 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) preseason poll, fell to No. 4 Stanford University, 29-9, on Saturday, but bounced back on Sunday defeating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by a score of 14-11 and Occidental College, 12-6.
Kale T. Rogers ’16 paced the Cardinal and Gray with 13 goals over the weekend, while Ory Tasman ’16 chipped in with eight markers and Matthew R. Orton ’16 registered five goals in the tournament. As a team, MIT scored 35 goals in the two day 2015 Bruno Classic Tournament.
Game 1: Stanford 29, MIT 9
Stanford jumped out on top early scoring the first seven goals of the contest — six in the first quarter and one in the second. Over the stretch, Bret Bonanni took control in the pool and netted three markers, en route to his game-high nine goals in the match.
The Engineers got on the board at the 7:02 mark of second quarter when Tasman fired a shot past the Stanford goalkeeper for his first goal of the season. Before the opening half was over, MIT scored three more times. Tasman potted two more goals, while Luka Knezevic ’19 registered the first goal of his collegiate career, which cut the deficit to 15-4 in favor of Stanford, heading into the break.
Over the final 16 minutes in the pool, the Engineers received goals two goals from Tasman, two from Rogers and a single goal by Orton. In the second half, Stanford outscored MIT 14-5, making the final score 29-9 in the opening match for both teams.
Game 2: MIT 14, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 11
Unlike the first game of the season against Stanford, MIT came out firing — scoring four straight goals — to start day two of the 2015 Bruno Classic. The change of venue, from Harvard’s Blodgett Pool to Brown’s Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center seemed to help the Cardinal and Gray claim their first win of 2015.
The trio of Tasman, Rogers and Orton accounted for MIT’s four goals in the opening eight minutes of action. After Rogers registered the first marker of the contest, he went on to take control with a total of seven tallies in the contest, leading the Engineers to victory.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps managed to knot the score at 9-9 early in the fourth quarter, after going on a 7-3 run that started with four minutes to play in the first half. Over the stretch, the Stags received two goals apiece from Tanner Cullen and Daniel Coga.
Both teams traded goals over until there was 2:31 remaining in the contest and the score was tied at 11-11. MIT used a late surge, scoring the games’ final three points to claim the 14-11 victory. Rogers scored twice and Jeremy P. Bogle ‘18 potted the all-important insurance goal with just one tick remaining on the clock as the Engineers defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 14-11, for their first win of the young season in their second game of the Bruno Classic.
Game 3: MIT 12, Occidental 6
MIT kept the momentum with a 12-6 win in its 1:00 p.m. matchup with the Tigers of Occidental College. Rogers continued his excellent day in the pool, scoring the Engineers’ first goal of the game and three total in the opening quarter. Cardinal and Gray’s Kyle J. Archer ’18 blasted the ball past the Tigers goalkeeper for his first tally of the season with 35-seconds left on the clock in the first quarter making the score 4-1.
With the score 7-4 heading into the final eight minutes of action, two more Engineers registered their first goals of the year with back-to-back markers with under 1:30 to play. Jeffrey Zhang and Joseph M. Kusters ’16 scored at 1:08 and :38, respectively, that sealed the game and MIT’s second win of the season, 12-6, taking two of its three games in the Bruno Classic.
MIT (2-1), heads home for a double-header next weekend. The Engineers will take on Connecticut College at 12:00 p.m. and Brown University, its first Northern Division matchup, at 8:30 p.m. in the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center pool.