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Men’s Water Polo Continues Home Schedule This Weekend

Senior co-captain Luka Babic has five goals and seven assists this season (Gil Talbot).  

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Blodgett Pool will host CWPA Northern Division water polo tilts this weekend as Harvard remains at home for the second consecutive weekend. The Crimson will take on St. Francis (N.Y.) and Connecticut College on Saturday before stepping out of division play for a game against Mercyhurst on Sunday.

Harvard
The Crimson (4-9, 0-4 CWPA North) enters the weekend looking to end a five-game skid. Most recently, Harvard fell to CWPA Northern Division and Ivy League rival Brown, 11-4, at Blodgett Pool. John Holland-McCowan scored a pair of goals and Jimmy Field made 13 saves in the loss.   

Holland-McCowan, who is tied for second on the team with 14 goals, has scored seven times and added six steals in the team's last five outings. Kevin DiSilvestro and Max Murphy also have 14 scores behind Max Eliot's team leading 22.

Field was inserted into the Crimson lineup after senior goalie Alexandre Popp was sidelined with an injury. Popp had made 86 saves through Harvard's first 11 games.

St. Francis (N.Y.)
The Terriers (8-7, 4-0), who advanced to the water polo Final Four a year ago, take a five-game winning streak into the weekend. St. Francis (N.Y.) is lead by a trio of Belgrade, Serbia natvies in Alexandar Pantic, Marko Gencic and Igor Mladenovic. On offense, Pantic has scored 35 times on 72 shots and Gencic has found the back of the net 23 times. Mladenovic has made 150 saves in goal.

Harvard trails St. Francis (N.Y.), 23-6, in the all-time series between the two institutions. The two squads met twice last season with St. Francis winning 16-7 at the MIT Invitational and 23-7 in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.

Connecticut College
The Camels are 2-8 overall and 0-1 in the CWPA North with wins over Washington & Jefferson and Cal Tech. Connecticut College competes in Division III of the NCAA.

The Crimson is 16-0 all-time against Connecticut College, including two wins last season. Harvard won, 20-10, at Connecticut College and also downed the Camels, 18-5, at Blodgett Pool during the CWPA Northern Division Championship Tournament in 2010. Harvard has scored in double figures in nine straight games against Connecticut College dating back to 2005.

Mercyhurst
Mercyhurst (11-4) is the hottest team entering the weekend having won six consecutive matches. The Lakers are led by Brett Luehmann and James Owen who have scored 34 goals apiece. Leuhmann is also tied with Gavin Oakley for the team lead in assists with 17. 

Matt Cote has started 13 games in goal for the Lakers and enters with a 9-4 record. The 6-6 sophomore has stopped 142 shots in 2011.

Harvard handed Mercyhurst its worst loss of the season when the Crimson downed the Lakers, 17-8, at the North-South Tournament Sept. 17. Nine Crimson players scored in the win and five had multiple goals. Max Eliot found the back of the net four times and goalie Alexandre Popp added three assists to lead Harvard. It was the Crimson's first ever victory against Mercyhurst as each side has claimed one win in the all-time series. 

Up Next
The Crimson makes its annual trip across the country to face traditional water polo powers in California Oct. 21-23. Harvard will square off against No. 20 Cal Baptist, No. 11 UC-Davis, No. 1 Stanford, No. 8 Pepperdine and No. 14 Santa Clara over the course of three days.