Sixth Man: Men’s Water Polo

Aw yeah

What’s better than tremendously buff, near-naked men putting on stylized bonnets and swimming up and down a pool for an hour? Yeah, not much. So Sixth Man had little choice but to grab a friend and head to men’s water polo Senior Night last Friday for some high-octane wopo action. Coming from California, I’m actually pretty familiar with the world’s premier aquatic team sport (narrowly edging out Sharks and Minnows, for all you former swimmers out there), having played it my freshman year of high school, but then quit out of fear of embarrassing everyone else on the team due to my absurd talent and chiseled upper body.

Anyway, having attended at home several games featuring Stanford/Cal/USC/UCLA (the perennial water polo powerhouses/California douchebag schools), I wasn’t expecting much from Ivy League water polo; it turns out, though, that we’re really good. In fact, men’s water polo is, at the time of this post, 27-2 (one of the losses is to number two UCLA and the other is a fluky 1-goal defeat by Johns Hopkins) and ranked twelfth in the country. This ranking is dampened a bit by further research indicating that there are no more than 30 or so Division I NCAA water polo teams, but still, it’s pretty cool. Any sport we can beat Harvard at by 14 goals on two different occasions is one I’m in favor of.

Friday’s game, however, appeared for a while to have the potential to be a giant letdown. The stands were nearly full (I don’t know if this is a regular thing or a Senior Night thing) and Bruno took a quick 4-goal lead on the unsurprisingly pale and skinny MIT team, which looked like it would be a lot more at home TA’ing CS 15 than trying to throw the ball anywhere near the goal. But somehow, someway, MIT started scoring goals in bunches at the beginning of the third quarter, and eventually tied the score at 5 (or maybe it was 6, I’m not a math major concentrator). The deterioration of play greatly infuriated Brown’s own Abbott and Costello water polo coaching duo, two dudes of hilariously contrasting size but equal unhappiness with the apparently unjust refereeing.

Fortunately for da Bears (can we steal this from Chicago’s NFL team?), MIT’s goalie did something to his shoulder that required he leave the game–I’m not a sideline reporter, but let’s call it a “contusion,” because that seems to be what they do when they have no clue what the injury is–and his replacement had all the goalkeeping abilities of my four-year-old cousin. Actually, in fairness, I hear through the family grapevine that my cousin is turning out to be quite a swimmer, so maybe that’s unfair to her. Regardless, the point is that Brown hammered in the goals after the ol’ goalie switcheroo, en route to a 12-9 victory.

The win is a nice send-off for the team’s seniors–including former Straight Boy Crushes of the Week Michael Hartwick and Dean Serure, plus Svetozar Stefanovic, Cyrus Mojdehi (pictured above), Bryan Russell, and Ryan Gladych–who have played their last game at the Nelly’s Natty. Though you’ve missed your final chance to catch men’s water polo action at home, be sure to follow the team’s progress as they march toward an inevitable national championship. You heard it here first.

Men’s Soccer Update: Sixth Man’s recent crush on the men’s soccer team has generated this additional feature (yay, more column!). Soccer won a narrow 1-0 victory on the road over a–OK, let’s not beat around the bush here–terribly shitty Penn team, remaining undefeated in Ivy League play and remaining at #11 in the country. Come support the Bears this Saturday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night against Yale, because what else are you going to do with a Saturday night, am I right? See you there.

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