M. Water Polo Splits With N.Y. Squads

POOL PLAY
Vilsa E. Curto

Senior co-captain Chris Ludwick, shown here in earlier action, and the Harvard men’s water polo team settled for a split of a pair of games with New York teams yesterday, moving the Crimson’s record to 5-1 on the year.

The Harvard men’s water polo team was in a New York state of mind this past weekend, suffering a setback against Saint Francis before ultimately recovering to capture the victory against Queens College.

Invigorated by depth the squad has not enjoyed in years, the Crimson (5-1) looked to build over last weekend’s flawless performance and continue its unbeaten streak.

Unfortunately, Harvard was met with equally game opponents playing under foreign pool conditions.

“The pool we played in [for the St. Francis match] wasn’t the same size as a normal pool,” co-captain Chris Ludwick said. “We just didn’t adapt as well as we should have, and we weren’t quite as quick as we needed to be.”

After falling, 15-7, against Saint Francis, the Crimson was able to erase the memories of its Brooklyn opponents and ended the night on a positive note, downing the Knights of Queens, 11-7.

HARVARD 11, QUEENS COLLEGE 7

After sputtering to a disappointing finish during the day’s first game, Harvard came out strong and put together several quarters of balanced play, creating chances off its counterattacks and returning to the style of play that proved so effective last weekend.

“We put four steady quarters together and stepped up our play,” Ludwick said. “On the perimeter, we needed to move quicker and communicate better. We got a lot of steals and played with a higher level of intensity.”

Once again, the youngest stars on the team shined brightly, sparking a Crimson team that held the lead through each quarter of the game.

Sophomore Spencer Livingston piled on four goals against Queens, matched only by freshman teammate Bret Voith, whose four goals and offensive voraciousness allowed Harvard to put the game away.

Having led by two after each of the first three quarters, the Crimson took the initiative in the fourth to end the game by scoring on its first two possessions.

“Coach gave us a challenge to put the game away [at the end of the third],” Voith said. “He told us to come out extremely strong and be aggressive from the start.”

SAINT FRANCIS 15, HARVARD 7

“The story of the game was simply we played three good quarters and one real bad quarter.”

Ludwick’s words perfectly captured the essence of the match.

Tied with the Terriers at 2 after the first quarter, Harvard quickly found itself down in a hurry, surrendering four goals in the second quarter—a deficit that the Crimson found too large to come back from.

Although play was markedly better in the second half, the mistakes of the second quarter ensured the victory for Saint Francis.

Highlighting Harvard’s depth, however, was the number of the squad’s scorers, as six different individuals found the back of the net.

Although the Terriers posed a significant challenge for the Crimson, the environs of the match proved to be just as stifling for the Cambridge men.

“No one was used to the size of the pool,” Voith said. “We couldn’t adjust, and they outmanned us and used all the advantages of the facility.”

The Blodgett pool, Harvard’s home pool, has dimensions of 25 by 30 feet, but the pool the Crimson found itself in yesterday was significantly thinner, holding dimensions of 25 by 20 feet.

—Staff writer Mauricio A. Cruz can be reached at cruz2@fas.harvard.edu.

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