The Harvard men’s water polo team traveled coast-to-coast yesterday, trading the shifty New England weather for the warm southern California coast. This was no vacation, however; the Crimson players were on official business.
Harvard faced the University of La Verne in a tightly contested match-up. A full 31 minutes of play could not separate the two teams. With only seconds left on the clock, the game-winner finally came—for ULV— dropping the Crimson, 8-7.
For the last 22 minutes of regulation, neither team managed to mount a lead larger than one goal. The tension between the two teams would eventually come to a head, the question was:when? In a race to score, the Leopards (8-6) came out on top thanks to senior Justin Haas.
As regulation drew to a close, ULV mounted a counterattack on the Crimson (7-7-1) after a failed attempt on goal. With only 49 ticks remaining in the game, Haas fired the game-winning goal past Harvard goalkeeper Jay Connolly for the win.
At the end of the first period, the Leopards had scored the lone goal and led the Crimson by one goal. Better play by Harvard made things more interesting in the second frame. Two goals from the Crimson evened things up at 2-2 to end the half.
The goalkeeper for either side saw a little more action in the third frame as both Harvard and ULV stepped up their offense. Both teams scored more points in the third period than in any other. By the final whistle of the quarter, the Leopards had found the net four times while the Crimson added three goals to their total. Going into the fourth, the scoreboard stood at 6-5.
The two teams traded goals in the final frame until the score read 7-7. The game seemed to be headed for overtime until Haas provided the proverbial nail in the coffin.
The ULV offense was led by the duo of juniors Seth Shelton and Andrew McPartland, each recording two goals. Senior Ricardo Negron added one tally and two assists to help the effort. The Leopards’ freshman goaltender Christian Padilla notched a season-high nine blocks in the victory.
Junior Chris Ludwick anchored the offense for the Crimson, producing a hat trick in the match-up. Senior John Voith provided two more tallies while fellow senior Alessandro Lazzarini and sophomore David Tune both added one.
Connolly made six saves to keep the game close.
—Staff writer Vincent R. Oletu can be reached at email@example.com.