Top-Seeded Men’s Water Polo Beats No. 9 Seed MIT in CWPA Quarters, 11-8

Top-Seeded Men’s Water Polo Beats No. 9 Seed MIT in CWPA Quarters, 11-8

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore Tyler Kirchberg scored a team-high three goals as top-seeded Brown University men's water polo defeated host and No. 9 seed MIT, 11-8, in the quarterfinals of the 2015 CWPA Championship at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center on Friday afternoon.

The Bears (24-6), ranked No. 10 in the CWPA national poll, began the game with a 3-0 lead and held off a late rally from the Engineers (13-14) after gaining a 10-5 edge midway through the fourth quarter.

Brown will now play in the first semifinal of the tournament on Saturday at 4:40 p.m. against No. 4 seed Johns Hopkins (20-9). The Blue Jays topped No. 5 seed St. Francis Brooklyn, 7-6, in a quarterfinal match-up on Friday. MIT will take part in consolation action tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Kirchberg (Orinda, Calif.) paced the Bears offense while seniors and First Team All-North honorees Will Klein (Pasadena, Calif.) and Matty Gallas (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) each netted two goals.

Juniors Luke Irwin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Yahel Murvitz-Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel), and Warren Smith (Dallas, Texas) as well as sophomore Rico Burke (San Mateo, Calif.) each recorded a single tally.

In goal, junior net-minder and First Team All-North performer Luke Weiser (Los Alamitos, Calif.) made nine saves and held the Engineers to four goals through the first three quarters.

Brown began the game with a 3-0 run behind goals from Murvitz-Lahav, Burke, and Gallas before MIT scored with 1:52 to play in the opening period. Smith closed the quarter's scoring with a goal with 20 seconds left.

After MIT pulled within 4-2, Gallas notched a goal to give the Bears a 5-2 lead with 1:26 to go in the first half. The hosts scored with 27 seconds until the break, but Irwin found the back of the net as time expired to lift Brown to a 6-3 halftime edge.

The Bears took an 8-4 advantage after three quarters behind markers from Kirchberg and Klein.

Kirchberg opened the final stanza's scoring, and a second goal from Klein put Brown up 10-5 with 4:32 remaining. MIT cut its margin to 10-7 before a Kirchberg goal. The Engineers posted the match's last tally with 31 seconds on the clock.

Brown improved to 4-0 against MIT on the year with the win. The Bears beat the Engineers, 14-8, in Cambridge on Sept. 19, 11-7 at home in Providence on Oct. 10, and 15-7 in the semifinals of the CWPA Northern Division Championship in their home pool on Nov. 7. 

Brown 11, MIT 8
Brown....................... 4…2…2…3…11
MIT............................. 1…2…1…4…8
Brown Goals: Kirchberg 3, Gallas 2, Klein 2, Burke, Irwin, Murvitz-Lahav, Smith.
Brown Saves: Weiser 9.