A little home cooking wasn’t quite enough to carry the men’s water polo team to the NCAA Tournament this fall. Although Brown hosted the eight-team College Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championships over the weekend of November 16–17, it fell short in its bid to claim the title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. On Saturday the Bears, ranked nineteenth in the CWPA national top-twenty poll, dropped an 8–5 decision to fourteenth-ranked Princeton before a raucous crowd of 400 at the Smith Swim Center. Doug Grutzmacher ’04 led the way with three goals, while goalie Keith Stanski ’04 made nineteen saves.

Later that day Brown rebounded in the consolation bracket by beating unranked Bucknell, 14–9. The Bears got four goals each from Sean Tiner ’06 and Pat Sandys ’05 and three from Grutzmacher. The following day, unranked Iona held off the Bears, 8–7, in the fifth-place game, despite six fourth-period Brown goals. Grutzmacher and Sandys each scored two goals for the Bears, who finished the season with an 8–12 record. Twelfth-ranked Queens College nipped thirteenth-ranked Navy, 5–4, in the title game to advance to the NCAAs at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Grutzmacher was named to the All-East Tournament second team for his eight-goal weekend.

Brown had clinched a berth in the Eastern Championships earlier in November when it upset fifteenth-ranked Harvard, 7–6, in dramatic fashion at the Northern Division Championships in Cambridge. The Bears, unranked at the time, and the Crimson were deadlocked at 6–6 with fourteen seconds to go when Andy Wiener ’06 whipped home the winning goal. The following day, after a 15–10 loss to St. Francis, Brown downed twentieth-ranked Iona, 8–6, to clinch third place in the Northern Division.

Tiner, from Laguna Beach, California, led the Bears in scoring this season with forty-nine goals, followed by cocaptain Grutzmacher, of Sacramento, who had forty-one. Bears’ coach Todd Clapper, meanwhile, was named Northern Division Coach of the Year.