It gets pulled into the combustion chamber on the intake stroke (piston going down, intake valve open (stroke 1)); it is still in there when the piston comes up (compression stroke (stroke 2)). Water won't compress (not much anyway), something breaks. Normally, the third stroke is when the compressed air/fuel is exploded by the plug, driving the piston down. The forth stroke (exhaust) is when the piston comes up for the 2nd time, this is when the exhaust valve is open.
So, with a 4 stroke engine, we have 2 down and 2 up strokes of the piston. The exhaust is on stroke 4, the broken piston occurs on stroke 2.
Hope that helps.