Harvard Downs Iona to Capture Seventh in CWPA Easterns

Luka Good
Robert L. Ruffins

Co-captain Luka Babic, shown here in earlier action, scored with 1:57 left in the third frame against Iona on Sunday. His goal was one of four in the period, a streak that came on four straight possessions. The Crimson finished the season by capturing seventh place in the CWPA Eastern Championship.

After losing its first two games in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championship tournament, the Harvard men’s water polo team ended its season with a win over Iona Sunday morning to claim seventh in the league.

The Crimson (10-20, 6-9 CWPA) hosted the three-day tournament at Blodgett Pool and earned its highest finish in the tournament since Harvard last hosted Easterns in 2007.

“When you think about it in the context of our season, not only did we [qualify for Easterns] but we also beat our seed,” said senior two-meter Evan Zepfel, an inactive Crimson sports editor. “I can’t think of anything better than that for our team.”


Despite two losses and on the weekend behind them, Harvard ended the season on a positive note with an upset 13-10 win over Iona (14-16, 3-2).


The defensive-heavy game began with a low-scoring first half, in which Harvard’s pressure defense forced five Gael turnovers Senior goalie Alex Popp contributed seven saves.

Although Iona was the first to get on the board midway through the first quarter, a 3-1 Crimson run in the second gave Harvard the 4-2 lead by halftime.

The Crimson continued on to dominate the third quarter with six goals, four of which were scored on back-to-back possessions.

The Gaels came to fight in the third quarter, putting up three unanswered goals in the opening minutes of the stanza. But three Harvard goals to close the game helped the Crimson secure the victory.

Senior attackers Mike Katzer and Kevin DiSilvestro recorded three and two goals, respectively, in their last performance as Harvard players.


With its sights set on an upset and a comeback victory all in one, the Crimson took Bucknell (15-10, 5-3) into double overtime in the tournament’s second round on Saturday.

Six players fouled out after earning three ejections, and another two were disqualified from the game due to misconduct.

The Crimson finished the game with only enough eligible players to field a single lineup.

Katzer said he was very impressed with Harvard’s showing, considering the Crimson played with limited depth for a significant portion of the game.