It was over before it began.
No. When it began, it was over.
Twenty-seven seconds into yesterday's water polo Beanpot final, Harvard freshman Pete Richards scored the first of his four goals to pace the Crimson to a 17-9 romp over MIT.
If you wanted drama, the place to be was in front of the T.V. watching the presidential debate instead of Blodgett Pool.
"We were a little concerned. Last time, they gave us a pretty decent game [Harvard won 12-8]," said Co-Captain Eric Bentley. "Everyone came through in this game. Tonight, it shows that we have a lot of intensity."
Bentley was concerned, though, with Harvard's power play. "Our 6-on-5 was pathetic. We need to work on that."
Harvard Coach Chris Hafferty described the first period, after which Harvard led, 4-0, as the "best quarter I've seen us play."
Harvard scored again less than a minute after Richards' first goal. After a steal by John Marshall, freshman Steve Kan assisted freshman Todd Forman, who scored at 5:42.
The next two goals saw Richards and Marshall exchange assists. Richards passed to Marshall who brought the ball back and fired it in. Minutes later, Richards fielded a shot from Marshall to power the ball over MIT goalie Paul Wysacki.
The first period ended but the onslaught didn't.
A minute and a half into the second period, freshman Mike Johnson passed the ball to Bentley, who fired an outside shot for a 5-0 Harvard lead.
The Crimson scored again before MIT showed some signs of life. MIT scored on a penalty shot that resulted from a penalty by junior Nick Branca.
Harvard responded with three consecutive goals, two by Bentley and one by Johnson, to give the Crimson a commanding 9-1 lead.
With 16 seconds remaining in the second period, MIT slipped its second goal past goalie Greg Beber to make the halftime score 9-2.
Harvard entered the third period with characteristic intensity. A save and steal by Beber was followed by a backhand goal by Richards. Eighteen seconds later, Mike Jackson fired a goal for MIT to keep the deficit at seven.
Harvard's next goal came on a pretty play by Marshall who faked Wysacki and forced a backhand goal. Harvard and MIT then exchanged goals to conclude the third period with the score at 12-4.
Harvard began the fourth period with four consecutive goals. After goals by Richards and Marshall, freshman Samford Friedman set in a floating ball past Wysacki. Johnson followed with a skip shot that gave the Crimson a 16-4 lead.
MIT came back with three unanswered goals before Johnson scored Harvard's final goal.