Water polo falls short against Brown Fourth-quarter comeback not enough as MIT loses at home, 5-4

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Gavin Darcey ’11 takes a shot past a Brown defender during Friday’s water polo game. MIT went on to lose 5-4 in a close game.
Jessica L. Wass

On a rainy, windy Friday night, the MIT men’s water polo team faced Brown University in the Z-Center pool. Although the Engineers failed to extend their winning streak to four games, falling 5-4, the match was filled with excitement.

It was nerve-wracking for MIT fans during the first period, with Brown dominating on offense and scoring three times — including once on a power play and another on a penalty shot. Despite MIT’s defensive efforts, Brown was able to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

MIT came alive in the second period. Goalie Columbus P. Leonard ’12 blocked multiple Brown shots, including one off of a threatening fast break. On offense, MIT had six shots and ended up scoring twice to bring the score to 3-2. This sparked a wave of cheering, including feet stomping and drumming from the surprisingly large crowd, which entered halftime hopeful for an exciting and epic second half.

The third period began with an even matchup between the two teams — both defenses and offenses seemed to have equal bearing and neither side could find an advantage. An interception by Craig B. Cheney ’14 nearly led to a tied game, but Brown’s defense stepped in at the last moment and scored on the counterattack. Fans were not satisfied with the referees, as it seemed as though MIT was constantly penalized, giving Brown more chances to score — which they capitalized on, bringing the score to 5-3.

Finally, in the fourth quarter both teams locked down on defense, and it seemed almost hopeless that MIT would finish their comeback. With 55 seconds left, Cheney was able to find the back of the net to bring MIT within one, and a wave of hopeful excitement swept over the crowd.

The crowd watched intently until the last few seconds, when a missed MIT shot resulted in Brown possession and the game ending, respectably, with a score of 5-4. Even though it didn’t result in a win, the intensity and spectators made the game worth the trek through the wind and rain.