In its sole West Coast road trip of the season, Harvard men’s water polo traveled to Southern California this weekend in search of a challenge. The Crimson (12-11, 4-0 CWPA) got just that in three nationally ranked Division I teams and two Division III powerhouses.
The Crimson went zero for five against the California schools over the course of three days. Harvard lost four games at the Gary Troyer Memorial Tournament in Pomona and Claremont before dropping its final game at UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.
“Our expectations coming in were to get better,” Crimson coach Ted Minnis said. “I think what we took away [from this weekend] is that when we play Harvard water polo and stick together, we’re a very good team. If we can keep playing more consistently, we’re going to be much more successful.”
Long Beach State (16-3) defeated Harvard on Friday, 12-5, before Pomona-Pitzer (4-12, 1-0 SCIAC) won the Crimson’s second game, 14-10. On the second day of the tournament, Loyola Marymount (11-6, 7-1 WWPA) picked apart Harvard’s defense for a 22-9 victory, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5-13, 1-1 SCIAC) defeated the Crimson, 16-12. On Sunday, Harvard visited UC Santa Barbara (14-3), who handed the Crimson another 16-12 loss.
UC SANTA BARBARA 16, HARVARD 12
The Crimson faced a 7-1 deficit after the first quarter at UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, allowing the No. 2-ranked team in the country to cruise to an easy victory.
The game evened out in the final three quarters of play as UC Santa Barbara and Harvard scored three goals apiece in the second period. The Crimson outscored the Gauchos in the second half, 8-6.
“We had a rough beginning of the game,” freshman attacker Robbie Fluegge said. “But after that, we settled down, and we realized that if we play our game, work to move the ball around, and take the shots we know we’re supposed to take, we can play with anybody.”
Freshman attacker Noah Harrison tallied four goals to lead Harvard in scoring for the third time on the road trip and added a career-high five steals on defense.
Junior Jimmy Field and freshman Colin Woolway, who shared the duties in net for the Crimson throughout the weekend, combined for four saves versus UC Santa Barbara.
CLAREMONT-M-S 16, HARVARD 12
An eight-goal second quarter against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was not enough as the Crimson dropped its final game of the Gary Troyer Tournament at Claremont’s Axelrod Pool on Saturday.
Down three after the first quarter of play, the Crimson narrowed the deficit to two after the offensive outpouring in the second quarter. But the defending NCAA Division III champion extended its lead in the final two quarters to seal the four-goal win.
Sophomore attacker Evan Ramsey had a team-leading three goals. Sophomore utility Max Murphy and junior attacker Will Roller each added two goals. Field and Woolway posted 13 saves.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 22, HARVARD 9