Harrison tallied three goals to help Harvard past MIT (photo courtsey: Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 17 men's water polo team downed MIT, 9-6, in the semifinals of the Collegiate Water Polo Northern Division Championships at Blodgett Pool Saturday to advance to the finals for the first time since 2004. Harvard will face either Brown or St. Francis Sunday at noon.
With the score knotted at two after the first eight minutes, the second frame turned into a defensive battle. Colin Woolway kept MIT off the board while Joey Colton tallied the lone score of the frame when he fired a shot past MIT's goalie Nolan Kruse with six minutes to go.
MIT opened scoring in the third stanza when a foul was called on Harvard. Matthew Orton of MIT slipped the ball past Woolway midway through to even the score at four. It did not take long for the Crimson to answer. Less than one minute later, Dan Stevens found the back of the net to tie the game before Colton lined up and fired one into the goal to put Harvard ahead by one. Ben Zepfel extended the lead to two when he pushed away from his defender and buried his first of the day to end the frame.
In the final eight minutes, Harvard did not let up. Colton registered his third goal before MIT gave up a five-meter shot that Noah Harrison launched into the net to give Harvard a four-goal lead. With 5:42 remaining in the game, Harrison was in front of the goal again heavily defended as he escaped his opponent and sent the ball into the goal as time expired on the shot clock to make it 9-4. However, MIT continued to chip away at the deficit. With 1:29 to go, MIT scored its first of the frame and 36 seconds later scored its second to make it 9-6.
Harrison and Colton led the offense with three scores apiece, while Zepfel, Stevens and Lee each added one goal. Defensively, Harvard recorded 12 steals as Harrison and John Hollland-McCowan had three each, and Wrobel, Lee and Stevens had two apiece. Woolway stopped nine shots in net.
Harvard 9, MIT 6