Sophomore Max Eliot (above) scored the game-winning goal for Harvard against George Washington (photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard men's water polo team (2-4) experienced both highs and lows Sunday at the Princeton Invitational. After starting the morning off with a 17-2 loss to No. 13 Santa Clara, the Crimson earned a thrilling, 9-8, victory over George Washington in the afternoon.
"We learned a lot of lessons today," said Harvard men's water polo head coach Ted Minnis. "We exerted a lot of energy yesterday [and] played a tough game against Princeton." The Crimson's game against the Broncos started at 9 a.m., which followed its tough, 14-9, loss in the 6 p.m. Saturday night game against tournament host No. 18 Princeton.
Juniors Evan Zepfel and co-captain Luka Babic did the scoring for Harvard against Santa Clara with one goal each. Junior Kevin DiSilvestro and freshman Neal O'Hara both had one assist and senior Alex Thompson had two steals. Junior Alexandre Popp had a save, and freshman Jimmy Field made four stops for the Crimson in goal.
In the George Washington game, Harvard went up early in the first period, 3-0, and led 4-3 halftime. The Crimson ran into some trouble in the second half with ejections and 6-on-5 scenarios, allowing George Washington to take a 7-6 lead. With about two minutes, 30 seconds, left in the fourth period, senior co-captain Bret Voith put the ball in the net to tie the score. Later, coming out of a Harvard timeout, sophomore Max Eliot scored to put the Crimson up, 9-8, with 35 seconds left. The Crimson got a defensive stop, Popp made a save and the team ran the clock out for the win.
Thompson had three goals, an assist and one steal against George Washington. Babic added two goals and an assist while Popp had eight goalie saves.
"I think we learned a lot of lessons this weekend and we're growing as a group and as a team," Minnis said. "It was good weekend."
The Harvard will be back in action at home at 4:30 p.m., Friday against MIT as it hosts the ECAC Championships through Sept. 19.
vs. No. 13 Santa Clara | vs. George Washington