Sports

Bears fall in tournament final for first loss in two months

By
Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

 

The No. 12 men’s water polo team finished second out of seven teams at the College Water Polo Association Northern Division Championship this past weekend at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. After a first-round bye, the Bears (27-3) routed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 17-8 but fell in the finals to No. 15 St. Francis 8-7. 

The loss was the Bears’ first since Sept. 9. 

The Bears faced the Engineers (14-12) in the semifinals. Captain Svetozar Stefanovic ’13 led the offense with seven goals and two assists. The Bears overpowered MIT in the first half of the match, entering halftime with a 10-4 advantage. Bruno continued to outscore the Engineers, holding them to four goals in the second half. Walker Shockley ’14 came through with six saves in three quarters. Andrew Brown ’15 then replaced Shockley in the last quarter and earned one save. 

“We know them pretty well,” said Dean Serure ’13. “We stuck to our game plan and pulled away with a win.”

The Bears faced a tighter match against St. Francis (13-8) the next day, fighting for the championship title against a team they had already beaten three times this year. Nick Deaver ’15 led the offense with three goals, while Cyrus Mojdehi ‘12.5, Henry Fox ’15, Will Klein ’16 and Stefanovic scored one goal apiece. Though Bruno held on to the lead for three quarters, the Terriers adjusted and gave a strong performance in the final eight minutes. St. Francis claimed the victory 8-7 and the Northern Division Championship.

“It is an extremely tough loss for us,” Serure said. “We were riding a long winning streak and a lot of positive momentum. We’re going to refocus.” 

“It’s very difficult to beat a team four times in a row,” Mojdehi said. “It had been over two months since we had lost, and it provides us with great motivation to train as hard as possible going into the Easterns.”

Head Coach Felix Mercado expressed similar determination to continue the Bears’ winning ways as they head into their final tournaments.

“Our season isn’t over,” said Mercado. “It’s a tough loss, but we did learn a couple things about ourselves.”

The Bears’ second-place finish qualified them for the CWPA Eastern Championship in Princeton, N.J., which begins Nov. 16.