With strong performances from both familiar names on the team as well as new contributors like freshman attacker Evan Ramsey, the Harvard mens’ water polo team brought a decisive end to its five-game losing streak.
The Crimson (6-10, 2-5 CWPA) split its matches at Blodgett Pool Saturday, beating Connecticut College (2-8, 1-1), 16-7, and losing to St. Francis (10-7, 5-0), 13-5. On Sunday, the Crimson secured its second victory of the weekend, edging Mercyhurst (11-7, 10-0), 10-9, in a back-and-forth match.
“It was a big step for us, getting these two wins,” Ramsey said. “If we had lost [these games], we would have been down. We were on a losing streak, and now we are starting a winning streak.”
HARVARD 10, MERCYHURST 9
After a low-scoring first half, the Crimson and the Lakers engaged in an onslaught of back-and-forth scoring. With just under a minute, the teams were knotted at 9-9, but a final shot by Ramsey would earn Harvard a 10-9 victory over Mercyhurst.
“[Crimson coach Ted Minnis] looks to me and says, ‘You have to put this away,’” Ramsey said. “He told me, ‘This one is on you.’ I figured I had to make it. I had to put it away, or I would beat myself up over it.”
With a pass from co-captain Kevin DiSilvestro, Ramsey nailed the winning goal to the back of the cage with a mere 25 seconds remaining on the clock.
“Everything that led up to it really pushed me to make that shot,” Ramsey said. “It felt great to make it.”
In the first half of the match, both the Crimson and the Lakers struggled to score. Mercyhurst tallied the sole goal of the opening quarter, and the half closed with a 4-2 score in favor of the Lakers.
But the second half represented a flipping of the switch. Co-captain Luka Babic got his second goal of the afternoon to begin Harvard’s 4-0 run, consisting of goals from freshman utility Max Murphy, sophomore attacker Will Roller, and another from Babic.
With 40 seconds remaining, Mercyhurst put one away in the otherwise Crimson-dominated quarter.
Harvard entered the fourth quarter up, 6-5. DiSilvestro began the prolific quarter with a tally for the home team, increasing the lead to 7-5, but it was quickly countered by a Laker goal just 20 seconds later. Mercyhurst tied things up at 7-7, but Harvard edged ahead again just moments later with a successful penalty shot.
But the Harvard lead was short lived. Two quick Laker goals tied the game once again with less than one minute of play left.
With 30 seconds remaining, DiSilvestro lobbed a pass to Ramsey, who would rocket the ball past the goalie to earn the team a 10-9 victory over Mercyhurst and its second win of the weekend.
HARVARD 16, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 7