Men's Water Polo Team Splits Two in California
Zepfel finished day two of The Rodeo with four goals and three steals (Photo Courtesy: Gil Talbot).
Santa Clara, Calif. – The No. 19 men's water polo team took on a pair of ranked opponents at the Rodeo Tournament in Santa Clara, Calif. The Crimson fell to host No. 16 Santa Clara, 12-9, before defeating No. 17 Cal Baptist, 11-10.
In the opening frame of the first game, Viktor Wrobel buried two goals while Joey Colton added one to keep the Crimson in the game, 4-3. Robbie Fluegge opened the scoring in the second quarter to knot the score at four, before Kyle Nadel of Santa Clara found the back of the net to take the lead. Harvard kept pace when Fluegge scored the equalizer just two minutes later. The Broncos responded with two goals to give the Broncos the lead at intermission.
Fluegge registered his third score to start the third stanza before Santa Clara notched three unanswered goals to take a 10-6 lead. With under two minutes remaining, Noah Harrison sent a shot past goalie Matt Pritchett before Colton closed out the frame with a score to make it a two-goal game heading into the final eight minutes. Harvard and Santa Clara traded goals in the final frame, as Harrison tallied the lone goal for the Crimson.
Harvard returned to the pool to take on No. 17 Cal Baptist in a back-and-fourth match. 39 seconds in the game, Colton buried a goal before Zepfel found the back of the net and Colton added his second as Harvard jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Cal Baptist responded scoring two goals with less than a minute and a half to play.
Harvard and Cal Baptist played an evenly matched second quarter. The Lancers knotted the score at three when Matt Puig slipped one past Woolway, but Zepfel and Harrison each had a goal to put the Crimson in front with 2:27 to go. The Lancers kept it a one-goal game off Jake Jizmeijan's first goal of the game.
The Crimson had an explosive third quarter, outscoring the Lancers, 5-2. Zepfel and Harrison started the scoring in the second half to put the Crimson ahead by three. Cal Baptist cut the lead back to one off back-to-back goals. Zepfel tallied his third score while John Holland-McCowan and Dan Stevens contributed one each to give Harvard a 10-6 advantage.
Despite outscoring Harvard 4-1 in the final frame, Cal Baptist's fourth period rally came up short. Harrison netted the only goal for Crimson in the last eight minutes of the game.
Defensively, Stevens and Harrison both had two steals while Woolway had ten saves in goal.
The Crimson wraps up its trip to California tomorrow when Harvard takes on No. 11 UC Davis at 11 a.m. EST and Fresno Pacific at 3:00 p.m.