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Men's water polo on the up and up with victory over MIT

As the Northern Division Championships swiftly approach, men's water polo appears to be playing stronger than ever. In their recent game against MIT on Sunday, the Bears edged out the Engineers, 14-12.

MIT took the lead, 4-2, after eight minutes of play. But the Bears did not let this crush their morale, and they scored six goals to MIT's one in the second quarter, leading to a halftime score, 8-5, in favor of Bruno. Despite MIT outscoring Brown, 7-6, in the second half, the Bears' impressive second quarter allowed them to still claim victory.

The win would not have been possible without Gordon Hood '11 leading the offense. Of the 14 goals scored, Hood contributed seven, along with three assists. In honor of his performance, the Collegiate Water Polo Association named Hood this week's Player of the Week.

Hood was not the only Bear to receive honors from the CWPA. Svetozar Stefanovic '13 earned Rookie of the Week honors as well, bringing his weekly award total to eight. Living up to his honors, Stefanovic notched two goals against MIT, as did fellow freshman Ryan Gladych '13. 

The team's two seniors, Kent Holland '10 and Zach Levko '10, both had strong games on Senior Day. Head coach Felix Mercado said there is no question that these two seniors have done a good job in leading the team this season. Holland commanded the cage with 14 saves, while Levko added a goal to contribute to the win. Brandon Yoshimura '11 and Corey Schwartz '11 each also scored a goal. 

"Overall, I thought we played okay — it wasn't a perfect game but the important thing is that we came out with the win, and offensively we have built some momentum going into the championship," said Mercado. But he admitted that some things need to improve defensively before this weekend.

With the confidence of this win sitting in their pocket, first-seed Brown is now ready to travel to Cambridge this weekend for the Northern Division Championship semifinals on Saturday. Brown will play the winner of the Harvard-MIT game. Mercado said his main worry about the team this weekend is the overall level of confidence. While they have the ability to beat every team, that does not mean anything if they "don't show up mentally," he said.




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