The Crimson move to a perfect 6-0 at home duing the regular season. (Harvard Athletics)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 18th-ranked Harvard men's water polo team closed its regular season out in style, handing CWPA Northern rival Fordham a 9-5 loss on Sunday at Blodgett Pool. The Crimson (16-11, 11-1) celebrated Senior Day for its two fourth-year leaders, goalie Jimmy Field and attacker William Roller.
More than moving to 11-1 in conference action, Harvard finished the 2013 season perfect at home, going 6-0 in the comforts of Blodgett Pool. Field helped the Crimson's cause on Sunday, denying an impressive 11 shots in his last regular season contest in Cambridge.
It was the young guns who got things going for Harvard early though, as freshman Dan Stevens drew first blood not 25 seconds into the game. Sophomores Noah Harrison and Ben Zepfel followed suit to eventually give the Crimson a nice 3-0 lead midway through the first game.
With two minutes remaining, John Holland-McCowan gave Harvard a 4-0 lead with a nifty goal that got past the Fordham keeper, allowing the Crimson to sail into the second game, before Roller notched a goal in his last venture in Cambridge to open up a comfortable 5-0 advantage for the dark caps.
Fordham responded, however, beginning in the second frame. Nicholas Allen and Patrick Lenihan scored in succession to get the Rams back into the swing of things, not to the discredit of Field, who made a flurry of saves during that stretch. But Stevens attacked again to make it 6-2 in the Crimson's favor though two games.
The Rams bounced back once more, scoring three in a row over the next two frames, holding Harvard scoreless in the third game as well. With a dicey 6-5 lead for Harvard, Zepfel registered his second tally of the afternoon to give the Crimson some breathing room. After nearly two more minutes dragged by, Zepfel added one more, followed by Blake Lee at the 2:15 mark to give the Crimson its final 9-5 lead. Harvard played keep-away and clock-killers down the stretch, ending any chance the Rams had for a comeback.
The Crimson returns to the pool Nov. 9-10 as it hosts the CWPA Northern Division Championships at Blodgett.
Harvard 9, Fordham 5