Men's Water Polo Goes 3-1 at Bison Invitational

Tiana A Abdulmassih

Rookie 2-meter Ben Zepfel, shown above in earlier action, paced the Harvard men’s water polo team with 13 goals in four games over the weekend. The Crimson won its first three games before falling in the finale to Bucknell.

The last time that Harvard men’s water polo team had a nine-game winning streak, Mitt Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts.

Fast forward 10 years and the Crimson once again posted nine straight wins.

Harvard traveled to Lewisburg, Pa., over the weekend to compete in the Bison Invitational against the Navy Academy B-team, Johns Hopkins, Toronto, and host Bucknell.

The Crimson improved to 12-6 over the weekend, winning its first three games before falling to Bucknell in a close 10-8 match on the final day of play.

Before Sunday’s match, the Bison were responsible for Harvard’s last loss, an 11-3 defeat more than two weeks ago.

Since then, Harvard has gone on a tear, outscoring opponents, 121-80, and posting a nine-game winning streak. Conversely, Bucknell struggled, dropping five straight games heading into the invitational. For the Crimson, the game was important for redemption purposes.

“We kind of wanted to come out and avenge the loss,” said junior goalie Jimmy Field. “They handled us pretty well at home, so we wanted to come out and give them a good challenge in their pool.”

But the team was unable to keep the streak alive.

“It’s been a great nine games,” Field said. “It was tough that we couldn’t get that tenth, but we still want to take it one game at a time.”


In the final game of the weekend, the Bison got off to a four-goal lead at the half after outscoring the Crimson 4-1 in the second period. This was the first time all weekend that Harvard had trailed at intermission.

Coming out of halftime, the Crimson pushed back and tied the game at 8-8 going into the fourth period. But Harvard was unable to complete the comeback as the Bison scored two more to end the game at 10-8.

“I think we’re happy with the way we’re playing right now, but we’re not satisfied,” coach Ted Minnis said. “We won 12 games so far this year and won 10 games last year, total, and it’s not even Oct. 1 yet. I think we all feel we can get better every game by working hard and playing more consistently as the season goes on.”


The Crimson started out strong and kept a steady lead throughout the game in a 16-8 defeat of the University of Toronto, outscoring the Blues in the first period, 5-0, and going up 10-3 at the half.