M. Water Polo Goes Under In Providence

This was not the Harvard men’s water polo team’s best game by any stretch of the imagination.

Then again, not one game they’ve played this season has been.

Continuing its downward slide, the Crimson (1-7, 0-2 Ivy) suffered its worst loss of the season, losing 13-2 against arch rival Brown (3-4, 1-1 Ivy) at the Smith Swim Center in Providence.

Behind an energized crowd, the Bears sent Harvard packing without the revenge the squad has sought since last season’s Northern Division championship, when underdog Brown stole the game from out beneath its nose in the game’s final moments.

The Crimson just gave it to them last night.

With poor transition defense, Harvard left senior goalkeeper Reid Bolton vulnerable to the Bears’ attack all evening.

“He played good,” sophomore goaltender Robbie Burmeister said. “He can’t be expected to block those [shots].”

Burmeister, the team’s usual starting goalkeeper, was not a part of the Crimson’s efforts, unable to play due to a stress fracture of his left shin.

But Bolton filled his shoes as well as could be expected.

“Both of the goalies are absolutely fantastic,” coach Scott Russell said. “There really wasn’t any difference.”

And in the first quarter, Harvard played like the team it was supposed to be.

Playing Brown tight, the Crimson held the Bears to just two goals and should have had several of its own.

But Brown’s goaltender Jay Fantone was like a “brick wall” according to coach Russell.

For Russell, Fantone’s play was bittersweet. Russell taught Fantone while still in Michigan.

Thwarting Harvard’s offense, he secured the Bears lead through the end of the first period.

And it was all downhill from there.