While the rest of the country enjoyed Labor Day weekend, the Harvard men’s water polo team was busy in the pool, opening its season with a trio of contests on Saturday at the Labor Day Invite, held at MIT’s Zesiger Center.
In the tournament, Harvard came away with two victories against Yale and Diablo Valley College by scores of 14-12 and 12-5, respectively, but fell to the host Engineers, 19-7.
Despite the return of three of the team’s four top goal scorers from last year, the Crimson’s highly touted freshman class led the way offensively, scoring 19 of the team’s 33 goals on the day. Rookies Blake Lee and Noah Harrison paced Harvard (2-1) with six goals apiece.
Following the graduation of long-time goalie Alexandre Popp ’12, senior Jimmy Field and freshman Colin Woolway split time in goal. On the weekend, Field tallied 12 saves and Woolway recorded six.
Harvard coach Ted Minnis has yet to tap either as the full-time starter to replace Popp.
"They’re both playing really well…[but] I’ll know by the time we play Princeton [on Sept. 8],” Minnis said.
The Crimson is looking to get back to the CWPA Eastern Championships after a 10-20 overall record and a seventh-place finish at the CWPA Eastern Championships last season.
HARVARD 12, YALE 5
The Crimson’s final game at the Labor Day Invite stood in contrast to its performance earlier that day against the Engineers.
Against the Bulldogs, Harvard started strong, scoring seven goals in the first half, and never looked back.
Junior co-captain Will Roller, Lee, and Harrison each contributed two goals to key the offense.
On defense, the Crimson smothered the Bulldogs with 15 steals, while Field and Woolway combined for six saves.
MIT 19, HARVARD 7
Harvard struggled early and often against the Engineers on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
"They came in and jumped on us early," Minnis said. “We probably hit the post a good 60 percent of the time."