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Old foes prevailed once again over the Harvard men’s water polo team this weekend, as the Crimson (1-6) finished its New York road trip 1-2.
Harvard started out strong Saturday morning against host Fordham.
The Crimson led 4-0 at the quarter and maintained a 7-1 advantage at halftime. The margin proved to be insurmountable for the Rams, as Harvard went on to garner its first victory of the season in a 11-6 decision.
“It was a good game,” junior captain Rick Offsay said. “We finally got a win.”
Offsay scored two goals in the victory. Junior Mike Gerrity tallied two goals and registered three assists, while freshman Mike Garcia scored twice and added two assists.
In all, eight Crimson players scored.
“Everyone got playing experience,” Offsay said. “We used a lot of players and it was a good start to our weekend.”
Fresh off the taste of victory, Harvard played No. 15 St. Francis later on Saturday.
“St. Francis is a very rough team in the water,” senior Andrew Gartland said. “It’s a different type of game to play a team like that.”
Harvard fell 14-9, a more balanced contest than its 14-4, season-opening defeat last weekend at the Princeton Invitational.
“This was a much better effort than last weekend,” Offsay said. “The offense did what we needed to do and scored nine goals. This is usually enough for the win. It’s the defense we need to work on.”
Offsay led the team in scoring with a season-high five goals, while sophomore goaltender Robbie Burmeister made nine saves.
Harvard continued its New York swing yesterday, traveling to No. 14 Iona. The Crimson fell 11-6 to the Gaels as Iona capitalized on a significant home-pool advantage.
“This was a quirky game,” Offsay said. “Iona has a shallow pool that we’re not accustomed to playing in.”
Indeed, the four-foot shallow end introduced an extra element to deter Harvard, creating limitations as to how the players could compete while standing. In effect, the rules had changed, and the Gaels were able to use that to their advantage. The Crimson’s play was further restricted as the pool was only 25 yards long instead of the traditional 30 meters.
Despite the smaller pool, Harvard led 3-2 midway through the second quarter until Iona battled back with four unanswered goals. The Crimson could not overcome this deficit, and fell by a final tally of 11-6.
“One might look at our 1-6 record and feel it is discouraging,” Gartland said. “Not us. We know we can work to improve, and win the games that count.”
The Crimson travels to battle rival Brown Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
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