This weekend, the Harvard men’s water polo team (2-1) travels to Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton Invitational Tournament to face Cal Lutheran, California, Johns Hopkins (4-0), and the host Tigers.
The contests at Princeton mark the Crimson’s second tournament of the young season. Harvard opened play at the MIT Labor Day Invite, where rookies Blake Lee and Noah Harrison helped to facilitate the Harvard offense, accounting for six goals apiece on the weekend. Harrison was named CWPA North Division Rookie of the Week for his six-goal, one-steal, five-assist effort.
Harvard will start off its second invitational against Cal Lutheran on Friday evening. The Kingsmen notched a program-high 15 wins last season to finish 15-11 and hold a No. 5 Division III preseason ranking.
After Friday evening, the Crimson will face even tougher competition in the No .13 Tigers (0-0), and No.3 Golden Bears Saturday afternoon. Princeton—currently ranked first in the CWPA—finished last season 24-10. Sophomore Drew Hoffenberg figures to be an integral part of the Tigers’ offense after finishing his 2011 campaign with 47 goals, 36 assists, and 11 blocks.
Like Princeton, University of California figures to be a tough matchup for Harvard. The Golden Bears feature sophomore attacker Aleksa Saponjic who won a bronze medal for the Serbian Olympic team in London this summer. California went 22-4 last season.
“Our goal is to try to win every game,” co-captain Max Eliot said. “It’s still early in the season … [and] we have a young team [so] we are going to try to continue to develop, learn from every single game, and work on team chemistry.”
The Crimson will finish off its weekend against Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are on a four-game winning streak after a successful weekend at the annual Navy Labor Day Open.