Sports

Lubin ’12 strong, but m. water polo falls just short of ECAC title

By
Contributing Writer
Thursday, September 23, 2010

They went up against the best, and just barely fell short.

The men’s water polo team fell to St. Francis College last weekend in the finals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship, held at Harvard.

In the first round, Brown (8-3) beat Washington and Jefferson (0-5) by a wide margin, winning 16-5. The Bears then avenged last weekend’s loss to Bucknell (8-4) by beating the Bison 11-7. In the semifinals, Bruno won a thrilling 10-9 overtime game against Johns Hopkins (6-5).

The winning streak ended in the final round of the championship with a 13-9 loss to division leader St. Francis (10-0).

“They are the best on the east coast,” said Head Coach Felix Mercado.

Mercado’s squad was able to hang with St. Francis in the first half, allowing only five goals. But the Terriers pulled away with six goals in the third quarter alone. “That was the deciding factor,” Mercado said.

Despite Sunday’s loss, Mercado said that he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“It was a really good weekend for us. I wanted to finish top four, that was the goal,” he said.

 Mercado also spoke of the exceptional work in goal by Max Lubin ’12, who set a career high with 13 saves against St. Francis.

“Max gave us a little bit of momentum,” Mercado said. “He was the backbone of our defense.”

Lubin, a veteran on a very young Brown team, was named the CWPA Northern Division’s defensive player of the week for the week’s play.

The junior goalkeeper praised his team’s performance, calling the ECAC tourney a “sign of improvement.”

Lubin said he is confident in the Bears’ potential. “We always believed that we could beat the other top teams on the East Coast, and we took a small step towards proving it,” he said.

The men have a chance this weekend to take a giant leap in that direction — if they can win a rematch against St. Francis. Lubin admitted that a win “would definitely be good for our team,” but reiterated that he is focused on a league championship.

“There are only a few games that matter to us — the Northern Championships and the Eastern Championships,” Lubin said. “It just comes down to who wants to win the most.”

The Bears will head to Connecticut College Friday for a weekend tournament featuring games against the home team as well as Queens College. On Sunday, Brown has its chance to upset St. Francis.

“There’s less pressure on us because we’re not supposed to beat them,” Mercado said. “But I know we can.”