Colin Woolway made a career-high 19 saves against Mercyhurst Saturday afternoon (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos).
NEW YORK CITY – The Harvard men's water polo team dropped its final two games of the regular season to St. Francis (N.Y.) and Mercyhurst Saturday in New York City.
The Crimson (12-14, 4-3) opened the day with a showdown for second place in the CWPA Northern Divison and fell to the Terriers, 14-9, before the Lakers rallied to win, 11-10, in the fourth quarter.
In the first game of the day, Harvard and St. Francis both struggled offensively out of the gate, but the Terriers were able to take a 3-1 advantage after the first period. Both teams picked up the pace in the second, but St. Francis outscored the Crimson 5-3 to extend the lead to four heading into the break.
Harvard chipped away at the deficit in the third, narrowing the deficit to 8-6, before the Terriers pushed the lead back to three before the frame ended. The fourth was won by St. Francis 5-3 for the second time to lock up second place in the CWPA Northern Division.
Will Roller, Ben Zepfel, John Holland-McCowan and Blake Lee all had two goals apiece for the Crimson, while Austen Novis had a single tally to round out the scoring. Lee added five assists, and Robbie Fluegge delivered four helpers.
Jimmy Field made 11 saves in goal for Harvard. Zepfel chipped in three steals, and Holland-McCowan added two.
Harvard did not have much time to recover, jumping back in the pool just two hours after its first contest ended; however, the Crimson did not let the fatigue show early, playing the Lakers evenly in the first quarter, 2-2.
The Crimson took a 5-4 lead into the intermission before stretching the lead to two heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers outscored Harvard, 4-1, in the final eight minutes to stun the Crimson and win the game.
Lee and Max Murphy each had four goals to pace the Crimson offense, while Lee chipped in two assists and four steals. Zepfel and Holland-McCowan both found the back of the net once.
Colin Woolway stopped a career-high 19 shots in net for Harvard.
The Crimson will look to regroup before heading up to Princeton for the Ivy League Championships Oct. 27-28.
St. Francis 14-9 loss
Mercyhurst 11-10 loss