Senior Michael Garcia led the way with four goals in a 9-6 win against Fordham on Saturday, and then helped mount an ultimately unsuccessful comeback against Iona on Sunday with three goals in that contest.
The Massachusetts-New York interstate rivalry lived on this weekend as the Harvard men’s water polo team traveled across state borders to face Fordham University on Saturday and Iona on Sunday.
Harvard (7-6-1) toppled MIT last Thursday and looked to continue its success away from home. The Crimson, however, could not complete the road trip sweep during the weekend.
The perfect week was within view after the Crimson squad sped past Fordham with a convincing 9-6 victory. But in New Rochelle, N.Y., a heart-breaking buzzer-beater brought the perfect weekend to an end as Iona College toppled Harvard 13-12 in overtime.
IONA 13, HARVARD 12 (OT)
The Crimson faced tough opposition on Sunday morning.
With time slowing slipping away, Harvard fought from a 9-7 deficit late in regulation to grab the lead over Iona.
“We just cracked down on defense,” senior Michael Garcia said, “and turned it into offense.”
With only two ticks left on the clock, Gael sophomore Patrick St. Cin scored to force the game into overtime.
Enjoying the momentum from their improbable comeback, the Gaels dominated the extra time.
Tied at ten, Iona scored the first three tallies in the extra period, securing a comfortable 13-10 lead over Harvard. A late Crimson rally put the Gaels back on their heels, but the equalizer never came as Iona managed to hold off the offensive surge.
Freshman Joe Przekota led the way with four goals for Iona. Senior Chris Vidale and sophomore Ed Gronkowski both added a pair of goals, with Vidale also picking up two assists.
Gael sophomores Kellan Frericks and Adam Neid recorded five and six stops, respectively, frustrating the Crimson offense.
Seniors John Voith and Garcia led the Crimson offensive effort with three goals apiece. Ludwick and freshman Spencer Livingston added two goals to the scoreboard.
HARVARD 9, FORDHAM 6
On Saturday, the Crimson stuck to its tried and true plan early against Fordham.
“We just have to play 32 minutes of our best,” Harvard coach Erik Farrar said.
Despite playing in foreign waters, the Harvard squad outpaced and outplayed the home-standing Rams.
The Crimson struck first, finding the net early in the first quarter.
However, back-to-back goals by Rams freshman Ryan Buckley and sophomore Todd Conway gave Fordham the 2-1 advantage.
The lead would be short-lived, however.
Harvard railed off five unanswered goals over the next two periods, creating a 6-2 advantage at the end of the second half.
Conway, who notched four goals in the match, led Fordham within three scores, but the Crimson lead proved too tough to overcome.
“It was a good team effort tonight,” Farrar said. “We converted a high percentage of our extra chances and got a good road victory.”
The sizeable advantage stemmed from impressive play on the defensive end. A 15-save effort from freshman Nikhil Balaraman helped Harvard keep the Rams out of the net.
Garcia and junior Chris Ludwick anchored the Crimson offense with four and three goals, respectively.
Harvard will travel cross-country to face off against the University of La Verne in California on Thursday.
—Staff writer Vincent R. Oletu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.