The Harvard men’s water polo team kicked off postseason play at the third-annual Ivy Championships at Yale’s Kiphuth Pool this weekend, falling in the semifinals to Brown, 19-5, on Sunday.
On Saturday, Harvard (13-15, 4-2 CWPA) rolled to a comfortable victory over Penn’s club team, 21-15, to advance to Sunday’s semifinals against the No. 12 Bears (25-2, 6-0).
Following the Crimson’s loss to Brown, the tournament’s final and consolation final were cancelled due to the area’s impending storm.
The tournament, which featured three varsity teams and five club teams from Ivy League schools, served as an unofficial Ancient Eight championship. The Crimson joined Princeton and Brown as varsity water polo ambassadors.
“I think the best thing about this weekend was promoting water polo to the rest of the Ivy League and giving those club teams the opportunity to play against the varsity teams,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said.
The Ivy Championships served as the Crimson’s final test before next weekend’s Northern Championships at Brown. There, Harvard must defeat Fordham on Saturday in order to qualify for the Princeton-hosted CWPA Eastern Championships on Nov. 16-18, which would serve as the Crimson’s season finale.
“What we took from [this tournament] was more practice and preparation for our game against Fordham,” junior attacker Will Roller said. “That’s really what it boils down to; that’s where our head’s been for the past week.”
Hurricane Sandy forced event organizers to cancel the Ivy Championship final between Brown and No. 18 Princeton, which was scheduled for Sunday evening. Harvard would have played Dartmouth’s club team in the consolation final.
BROWN 19, HARVARD 5
Brown routed Harvard on both sides of the ball early to take a commanding 8-0 lead into the second quarter Saturday morning. The Bears proceeded to outscore the Crimson in the final three frames as well, cruising to a 19-5 win.
“They’re a very intense team,” Roller said of Brown. “I think many of these nationally ranked teams really do have this sort of swagger, if you will, that translates into that intensity in the pool.”
Junior Jimmy Field led the Crimson in scoring with a hat trick, trading his regular position in goal to help fill in on the attack as Minnis rested ailing attackers.
“It’s that time of year when you get dinged up, and you’re going to be sore,” Minnis said. “We’ve got a few injuries, but I think the great thing about this team is that they don’t make any excuses. The next guy up is the next guy in, and they really believe that.”
“We were out there looking to play a good game but also maintain the health of our team,” Roller added.
On defense, Field, Roller and freshman attackers Blake Lee and Austen Novis each had two steals. Freshman goalie Colin Woolway made 10 saves.