Men's Water Polo Journeys West, Wins Three of Five Against Top Competition

Less than a week after a third place showing at the Ivy League Championships, the Harvard men’s water polo team headed west and produced three wins against Californian competitors at Santa Clara University’s Rodeo Tournament.


On Friday evening, the Crimson – ranked No. 19 in the nation – competed in the first of its five scheduled matches against No. 10 Concordia.

The Eagles, coming off of a 14-10 victory against Pomona-Pitzer two days prior, knocked in three goals in the first quarter. Harvard matched Concordia’s first quarter performance with three goals of its own, but was only able to score once in the second as opposed to the Eagles’ two.

The contest remained close throughout the second half. Both Concordia and the Crimson produced four points overall, with Harvard surging in the fourth period, scoring three goals as opposed to Concordia’s one. The late comeback, however, was unable to erase the deficit the Crimson found itself in at the end of the third quarter—after a final shot from freshman Joey Colton with 29 seconds left, the Crimson was forced to settle with a 9-8 loss.



The next morning began with the Crimson facing No. 16 Santa Clara. Three ranks above Harvard, the team hosting the tournament proved to be more of a challenge than the opposition from Friday night.

In the opening minutes, Santa Clara managed to pull away by two, but two shots by freshman attacker Viktor Wrobel brought the Crimson within a point of the Broncos. An additional goal from Colton helped the cause, and the first quarter ended with Harvard trailing, 4-3.

The second and third quarters were repeats of the first—with each effort mounted by Harvard, Santa Clara managed to edge its opponent by a single point. The end of the first half saw the Broncos pulling away, 7-5. By the end of the third, the scoreboard read 11-8.

Sophomore Noah Harrison scored a goal in the opening minutes of the final frame, but the lone goal was matched by one from Santa Clara’s James Rude. Shortly thereafter, Harvard’s second match out West ended with a 12-9 loss.


After two unsuccessful contests against higher-ranked teams, Harvard reversed the losing streak against No. 17 Cal Baptist. With Colton and sophomore Ben Zepfel tallying the first three goals, the Crimson started strong and ran with the lead.

“Well, I think that we all looked at each other in the eye and realized that we had more to give at the pool,” Junior John Holland-McCowan said. “We can come together.”

The beginning of the second half was when Harvard really took off. Four different members of the Crimson – Zepfel, Colton, Harrison and freshman Dan Stevens – scored in the third quarter, with Zepfel notching two. The four-point lead was sufficient to ward off a late comeback by Cal Baptist, and a goal by Harrison in the final minutes secured Harvard’s first victory of the weekend, 11-10.



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