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Men's Water Polo Displays Dominant Performance in Weekend Tournament

By Ginny Miller, Crimson Staff Writer

No. 12 Harvard swept the weekend to go 3-0 at the Princeton Invitational in its second weekend of play on the season. The Crimson has had an unprecedented start to its season, dropping only one game out of the first seven and notching four wins against nationally ranked opponents.

“It’s the second week in a row that we’ve beat the tenth rank team in the nation. Last week we beat UC Davis who was the tenth ranked team at the team this week we beat UC San Diego,” sophomore Grant Harvey said. “We were ranked 14th now we are ranked 12th is the best starting position Harvard has ever had.”

Harvard 15, Fordham 4

Harvard dominated against Fordham on Sunday to complete a weekend sweep. Chiapello and Harrison led the offensive attack with four and three goals respectively. Harrison recorded his fifth hat trick on the year. Colton, who leads the team with 17 assists, guided the offense with a game-high four assists.

Sechrest, Bunn, and freshman Charlie Owens each got on the board multiple times. Colton and freshman Bennie Seybold each scored to round out the goals.

Defensively, the Crimson shined letting up a season-low of four goals and recording 14 steals as a defensive unit. Wrobel, Harrison, Bunn, Sechrest, and Owens collected two steals apiece. Suri and sophomore Anthony Ridgely split time between the pipes totaling five saves together.

“We played three good games. We are playing good defense and scoring enough goals to win,” Harvey said. “We have plenty of offensive power, our team issues are definitely defensive so focusing on our defense instead of having just pure offense is important. So we played well, and we are very happy with how we played this entire weekend.”

Harvard 12, UC San Diego 10

Harvard displayed its depth in its win over No. 10 UC San Diego earlier in the tournament. Five different Crimson players got on the board twice while junior captain Harry Tafur and Chiapello tallied three assists apiece.

“A good thing about this year is that we have our all stars from years passed, Joey Colton and Noah Harrison. But something special about this year’s Harvard team is that we all just play together as a team,” Harvey said. “There weren’t any breakout performances from this weekend we just played good team water polo, as Ted Minnis referred to, good family ball.”

Colton led the offensive attack in the first quarter scoring two goals to give Harvard a 4-3 lead. Senior Dan Stevens scored the only goal in the second quarter to match the Tritons and tie up the game 5-5 at the half.

The Crimson came back strong after the intermission with two goals from Wrobel and one from sophomore Nick Bunn to gain back the lead 9-7. One more goal from Stevens and two from Harrison in the final quarter secured the victory for Harvard.

Harvard 13, Air Force 12

The Crimsn defeated No. 15 Air Force in overtime on Saturday. Harvard took the lead early in the game, controlling the play for most of the first half. Seniors Viktor Wrobel and Joey Colton scored two goals apiece to end the second quarter 6-2 in the Crimson’s favor.

The Falcons bounced back, narrowing the deficit to 8-6 in the third quarter. Air Force continued to chip away at Harvard lead in the fourth and took it late in the contest. The Crimson responded and tied it up at 10-10 when captain Joey Colton found classmate Noah Harrison late in the fourth.

Harrison scored in both the first and second overtime to force a sudden-death. Harrison came up big again when he forced a steal in man down situation allowing junior Colin Chiapello to score on the counter-attack and win the game.

“Our standout moment was taking Air Force to double overtime and winning it in sudden death,” sophomore Nathan Ondracek said. “Which was great, it was a big win for us.”

Freshman Austin Sechrest had an impressive four point performance with a career-high three assists. Classmate Nikhil Suri dominated in the goal, stopping eight shots.

—Staff writer Ginny Miller can be reached at virginiamiller@college.harvard.edu.

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