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Fourth-Quarter Surge Lifts Men's Water Polo Past MIT at Eastern Championships

John Holland-McCowan's three fourth-quarter goals pushed Harvard past MIT (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos). 

PRINCETON, N.J. - Entering the fourth quarter tied at six, the Harvard men's water polo team outscored MIT down the stretch to top the Engineers, 10-7, in the seventh-place game at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championships.

Sophomore John Holland-McCowan had a natural hat trick in the pivotal frame, and the Crimson scored the final four goals of the game to end the season at 15-19. Holland-McCowan finished with a game-high four goals, all in the second half. Blake Lee and Max Murphy added two goals apiece, while Noah Harrison and Ben Zepfel added a single tally. Harrison also contributed a career-high six assists.

The Engineers took an early advantage, leading 3-1 after the opening eight minutes as only Lee found the back of the net for Harvard. However, the Crimson would respond in the second quarter, halving the deficit by halftime on two tallies from Murphy and a strike by Zepfel.

In the third, Harvard drew even on a goals by Harrison and Holland-McCowan in the opening minutes of second half. Both defenses would clamp down from there with neither team allowing a goal in the final 5:47 of the third quarter.

The Engineers regained the lead at the 6:52 mark of the fourth, but it was all Harvard from there as Holland-McCowan took over. The sophomore buried shots at the 6:30, 4:01 and 3:21 marks to put Harvard in front by two. Lee capped the scoring at the 2:56 mark with his 62nd goal of the year.

Colin Woolway made 13 saves in net for Harvard, while Zepfel and Harrison both had three steals.

Following the completion of the games, Zepfel was named to the all-tournament second team, marking the freshman's fifth CWPA honor of the season. 


Holland-McCowan 4
Lee 2
Murphy 2

Harrison 6

Zepfel 3
Holland-McCowan 2
Harrison 3

Woolway 13