In its trip to the Big Apple on Saturday, the Harvard men’s water polo team came up fruitless.
The Crimson (12-14, 4-3 CWPA) traveled to New York to take on St. Francis (9-8, 3-2) and Mercyhurst (16-5, 10-0) for its final two games of the regular season, falling just short in both matches.
Harvard started its day against St. Francis, which capitalized on the Crimson’s slow start to claim the victory, 14-9. In its second game against Mercyhurst, Harvard surrendered a late lead and fell to the Lakers, 11-10, in a dramatic finish.
With four players out due to injury, the Crimson starters were unable to receive their typical rest.
“Playing with four guys down makes it a lot tougher to keep up,” freshman attacker Noah Harrison said. “Our energy was down during the second game, and I felt like this influenced the outcome of our game.”
Despite the disappointing weekend, Harvard coach Ted Minnis was pleased with the games, considering the circumstances.
“The whole team rallied around each other and battled for eight bursts [Saturday],” Minnis said. “Our guys played really well—we just didn’t catch some breaks down the stretch.”
Although the Crimson has now dropped its last nine games, Minnis is not overly concerned with the team’s performance heading into the postseason.
“I think if you look at it… we lost to probably five top-20 teams, three of which were [in the] top 10,” Minnis said. “We’ve played a very tough schedule, and I think we’re doing some good things and getting better. We’re just going to keep playing Harvard water polo.”
MERCYHURST 11, HARVARD 10
Harvard finished its regular season with a nailbiter—the Crimson went into the final three minutes leading the Lakers, 10-8, but a late run by Mercyhurst proved costly for Harvard.
With two minutes left, the Lakers pulled within one off of a score from Mercyhurst junior utility Garret Schoeman.
Just a minute later, Schoeman struck again, converting a penalty shot from Laker junior utility Isaac Ogloblin into a Mercyhurst score to tie up the contest at 10 apiece. The duo teamed up once more to score the game-winner with 12 seconds left to play.
Fatigue, according to Harrsion, was a central problem late in the second game of the day for the Crimson.
“We came out with intensity during the St. Francis game, and we were lacking some of that intensity during the Mercyhurst game,” Harrison said. “We probably had about an hour of rest to actually lay low and relax before the [Mercyhurst] game. We don’t have the [greatest] amount of [substitutes] in the world, so our guys got tired.”