Men's Water Polo Travels to Princeton Invitational

Men's Water Polo Travels to Princeton Invitational

 Max Eliot (above) and the Crimson will take on elite competition this weekend at the Princeton Invitational (phot courtesy of Gil Talbot).

 Tournament Preview | Thompson CWPA Athlete of the Week| Princeton Tournament Website

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Crimson men's water polo team heads south to Princeton, N.J., for four games in the two-day Princeton Invitational, where it will clash with three nationally ranked teams in No. 13 Santa Clara, No. 17 Cal Baptist and No. 18 Princeton, as well as a competitive George Washington squad.

Sept. 11
12 p.m. vs. No. 17 Cal Baptist
6 p.m. at No. 18 Princeton

Sept. 12
9 a.m. vs. No. 13 Santa Clara
3 p.m. vs. George Washington

Watch From Home
Fans will have an opportunity to watch the action Saturday night when Harvard enters the pool to take on Ivy League rival and tournament host Princeton at 6 p.m. The game will be featured on Verison FiOS1, as well as streamed live on the pay-per-view website.

Thompson Earns Collegiate Water Polo Player of the Week Honors
Senior Alex Thompson was named the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division Player of the Week after leading the Crimson in scoring for two of its three games at the MIT Invitational.

Thompson scored seven goals, notched an assist and had eight steals over the two-day tournament, including four goals in the 12-8 victory over Cal Lutheran.

About Harvard
The Crimson went 1-2 at last weekend's season-opening MIT Invitational, which included a close, 9-8, exhibition loss to the Boston Metro Elite water polo club. The team lost its true first contest of the season later in the tournament, 16-7, to No. 14 St. Francis. In its final game of the tournament, Harvard got its first and handed new head coach Ted Minnis his first collegiate coaching victory with a 12-8 win over Cal Lutheran. Harvard went 1-3 at this tournament in 2009 and 3-8 since 2002.

About Cal Baptist
The 17th-ranked Lancers opened their season last weekend by going 2-1 at the UC Irvine Invitational. Cal Baptist nearly pulled off an upset over the host No. 5 Anteaters, falling to a game-winning goal in the final seconds,10-9.

Cal Baptist is led by Chris Toy, who had 11 goals at the UC Irvine Invitational, and Aaron Steiger, who had seven at the tournament.

The Lancers lead the all-time series against Harvard, 3-1. Harvard last defeated Cal Baptist in 2007, 14-13, at the California Tournament.

About Princeton
The Tigers found themselves ranked No. 14 in the preseason poll, but after not playing last weekend they have slipped to No. 18. Princeton returns 12 players from a team that won the Eastern title and defeated Loyola Marymount in the NCAA third-place game a year ago.

The Princeton offense lost its three leading scorers to graduation. Senior Matt Hale, sophomore Tim Wenzlau and junior Tommy Parolin are Princeton's top-three returning goal scorers from a season ago. Wenzlau had 22 to lead the group, with Hale adding 19 and Parolin 14.

Defensively, the Tigers will look to Hale and sophomore Billy Tifft as two-meter defenders. The pair combined for 55 steals last season. In goal, Princeton returns a two-year starter in senior Mike Merlone.

Princeton leads the all-time series against Harvard, 20-13. Harvard's last win in the series was Sept. 30, 2001 at Princeton, 12-5.

About Santa Clara
The No. 13 Broncos (0-1) had the toughest season opener of any team in the country last weekend when they faced the No. 1 team on the road, Cal-Berkeley. Santa Clara kept it close through the first half, trailing just 6-3 at halftime, but the Bears outscored the Broncos 8-2 in the second half to pull away for the 14-5 victory.

The Broncos will look to senior Nick Poggetti, who led the team in 2009 with 79 goals. Poggetti, along with four other players, scored a single goal in Sunday's game.

Santa Clara leads the all-time series against Harvard, 3-1. The Crimson's lone win came in the teams' first meeting back in 2002, 10-5.

About George Washington
George Washington had a strong showing at last weekend's Navy Open, splitting their four games to start the season at 2-2. The Colonials picked up wins against Penn State-Erie, 17-7, and Queens (N.Y.), 9-7, while falling to Fordham, 11-5, and Mercyhurst, 5-3.

Freshman utility Daniel Tyner was chosen the CWPA Southern Division Rookie of the Week after leading the Colonials in scoring and ejections drawn during his debut weekend at the Navy Open. Tyner paced the team with 11 goals, 16 points and 10 ejections drawn over four games at the Navy Open. He converted 11-of-24 shot attempts and added five steals and three field blocks to help GW to a 2-2 mark.

Harvard leads the all-time series against George Washington, 7-6. The two teams split their head-to-head matchups in 2009 with Harvard winning, 12-7, Sept. 12 at the Princeton Invitational. The Colonials won by the identical score a week later when it counted, 12-7, at the ECAC Championships.

Up Next
Harvard will return home to host the ECAC Championships at Blodgett Pool beginning Friday, Sept. 17 and running through Sept. 19. The Crimson opens up Friday with its first of three scheduled matchups against MIT at 4:30 p.m.

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