Top-Seeded Men’s Water Polo Beats MIT in Northern Division Semis, 15-7

Top-Seeded Men’s Water Polo Beats MIT in Northern Division Semis, 15-7

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Will Klein scored three goals and junior Yahel Murvitz-Lahav totaled two goals and two assists to lead top-seeded Brown University men's water polo past No. 5 seed MIT, 15-7, in the semifinals of the CWPA Northern Division Championship on Saturday evening at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.

The Bears (22-6) advance to the championship game tomorrow at noon when they will face No. 2 seed Harvard for the fourth time this season. The Engineers (12-12) will play in the third-place game tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. vs. No. 3 seed St. Francis.

Brown – which went 12-0 in CWPA Northern Division play during the regular season – took a 4-0 lead after the first quarter en route to its win, ensuring itself one of the division's three automatic bids to the CWPA Championship (Nov. 20-22). The No. 12 nationally-ranked Bears will seek their second straight Northern Division title on Sunday.

In goal, junior goalie Luke Weiser (Los Alamitos, Calif.) made 14 saves in the contest, blanking the Engineers in the first quarter and holding the visitors to one goal in the third period.

Juniors Luke Irwin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Warren Smith (Dallas, Texas) and freshman Travis Bouscaren (Cambridge, Mass.) each netted two goals while senior Matty Gallas (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) registered a team-high three assists and a goal.

Junior Jake Wyatt (Corona Del Mar, Calif.), sophomore Rico Burke (San Mateo, Calif.), and freshman Santiago Nunez (Miami, Fla.) each added a single tally.

Gallas opened the game's scoring 13 seconds into the contest converting off a feed from Klein (Pasadena, Calif.) before Gallas returned the favor, assisting on Klein's first goal of the night. Irwin put the Bears up 3-0, redirecting a shot from Gallas, and Burke concluded the stanza's scoring with a one-handed, one-timed shot off a no-look pass from Murvitz-Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel).

Murvitz-Lahav gave the hosts a 5-0 lead at the 6:37 mark of the second quarter prior to the Engineers posting their first goal. The two sides traded markers over the remainder of the frame with Murvitz-Lahav and Smith connecting on 5-meter penalty shots in between a goal from Wyatt on a 6-on-5 as Brown led 8-4 at the break.

Klein started the second half's scoring, persevering through pressure on the inside after a pass from Gallas. After MIT pulled within 9-5, the Bears used a 3-0 run to take a 12-5 edge into the final quarter. Irwin began the spurt with a goal from two meters before Bouscaren drove home a pair of shots from beyond five meters.

Klein completed his hat trick after a goal from MIT to give the Bears a 13-6 advantage with 3:50 to play. The visitors scored once more before Smith and Nunez netted insurance goals for Brown.

Brown defeated MIT for the third time this season after topping the Engineers, 14-8, on the road on Sept. 19 and, 11-7, at home on Oct. 10. 

Brown 15, MIT 7
Brown....................... 4…4…4…3…15
MIT............................. 0…4…1…2…7
Brown Goals: Klein 3, Bouscaren 2, Irwin 2, Murvitz-Lahav 2, Smith 2, Burke, Gallas, Nunez, Wyatt.
Brown Saves: Weiser 14.