For once, the big story of a New England water polo tournament wasn't the efforts of second-ranked Harvard to catch top-ranked Brown, Instead, with only two teams moving on to the Easterns after next weekend's regional championships, the pressure was on the third-ranked squad, MIT. The Engineers responded with an 11-7 upset yesterday at Blodgett Pool, letting the Crimson know it shouldn't take for granted its planned trip to the Easterns in two weeks.
MIT's win was the only unexpected development in the two-day long Ivy invitational. The tourney lost its status as an Ivy championship because only four league schools could attend--one less than the minimum needed to produce a titlist.
The other Ivy squads involved were Brown, 2-0 for the weekend. Yale (1-1) and Princeton (0-3): MIT won a pair of games.
The Crimson aquamen, who won half of their four contests, were in trouble from the start. Engineers George Jaquette and John Friedman combined to give Harvard a 3-1 deficit midway through the first quarter, and the hosts played catch-up the rest of the way
Thirty-two seconds into the second half, freshman. David Chao finally brought Harvard even at five. But, with a chance to take control of the game, the Crimson offense vanished, as MIT reeled off six of the next seven goals.
Trailing 10-6 in the final period, Harvard finally pressed the Engineers on defense. But goalie Brett Hildebrand made three sensational arm-saves in the final four minutes, so that when Harvard's Rich Guerra managed to beat him with 17 seconds left, it no longer mattered.
The result, Crimson Coach Steve Pike said afterwards, reflected neither the absence of high-scoring Co-Captain Dave Fasi, injured in the loss to Brown nor the officiating, which Pike had criticized bitterly during the game.
Instead, he cited his squad's "uninspired" play and the Engineers' enthusiasm: "MIT really had nothing to lose they're playing six seniors, and they're smelling blood now that they have a chance to make the Easterns."
The rest of the aquamen's games went according to form: they dumped the Elis, 12-6, and Princeton, 14-7, while falling to the Bruins after a close first quarter, 12-5.
THE NOTEBOOK: The team trainer will examine Fasi today to see if he'll be set for the coming weekend's action...The weekend's schedule also included two games of Harvard's women's team, which fell to Brown, 9-3, and Princeton, 11-5...The aquamen's record stands at 14-6.
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