In the first annual Ivy League Championships, the Harvard men’s water polo team certainly made a splash.
The squad went two-for-three on the weekend in Princeton, N.J. at the tournament, which pitted varsity and clubs teams from the conference against each other. With the two wins and one loss, the Crimson finished in third to round out the tournament.
Harvard (8-16, 2-6 CWPA North) dominated the club No. 5 seed Cornell, 22-5, on Saturday, but fell at the hands of varsity No. 2 seed Brown in its second match, 15-7. Knocked out of the championship match, the Crimson battled for third place against club No. 3 seed Yale and pulled out the win, 12-7, to end the tournament on a good note.
“I think in the last week and a half, we’ve had a lot of injuries and some guys out sick,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “But they did a really good job, and I’m happy with the way the guys played.”
HARVARD 12, YALE 7
It wasn’t the big football game, but hopefully the win was a prelude to Harvard’s success in The Game. With third place on the line in its final match, the Crimson defeated Yale’s club team in an exhibition match.
The Bulldogs, 12-0 before the tournament, were coming into this tournament just having won the regional championship, but Harvard ended the team’s success. The Crimson has never lost to Yale, holding an impressive 46-0 record over the Bulldog squad.
“We started out a little bit slow,” freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Field said. “We were tired from iron-manning the weekend. We dug deep against Yale and tried to get the W. I think it was a great effort by the team.”
BROWN 15, HARVARD 7
In its second match of the weekend, the water polo team couldn’t notch the win to reach the championship match. The Crimson fell at the hands of the Bears, 15-7. Brown was on a four-game losing streak up until the start of the tournament, but the team managed to continue its winning streak against the Crimson, earning its seventh straight victory in the series.
Despite the loss, junior Kevin DiSilvestro had one of his most impressive games for the season. He led the team in scoring with five goals. Senior Alex Thompson also added to the squad’s score with two goals of his own. Field played all four quarters and made 10 saves.
“I think we were missing a couple of key guys due to injuries, so we weren’t really playing with the same group,” senior Jeff Lee said. “I think we still did a pretty good job, but Brown had a really good game.”
HARVARD 22, CORNELL 5
The men may have been a bit rusty coming into the tournament, only playing one game in the last two weeks, but the squad completely dominated Cornell in its opening match of the weekend.
The offense for the team was key, scoring 22 goals and posting the highest score for the Crimson in a match this season, though this was an exhibition game.
“I think we were able to counterattack really hard,” Lee said. “We outslammed them throughout the entire game, and I think the counterattack is something that’s coming together for us.”
The squad now sets its sights on the CWPA Northern Division Championships next weekend before rounding out the season at the CWPA Eastern Championships if the team is able to move on. Last year at the Northern Division Championships, co-captain Bret Voith led the team with four goals in its final match to finish in fifth place.
“I think the focus is on [the Northern Division Championships] next weekend,” Minnis said. “If you win that, you move onto the [Eastern Championships]. We have four days on campus, so tomorrow is an off day. Then we’re going to prepare for whomever it is we play. We’re really excited for this opportunity.”
—Staff writer Steven T. A. Roach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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