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Harvard Set to Host CWPA Northern Division Championships

Pictured: The Harvard men's water polo team prepares to host the CWPA Northern Division Championships Nov. 7-8.
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

Host with the Most:
Harvard will serve as the host institution for the 2009 Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division Championships, scheduled to be held Nov. 7-8. Matches begin Saturday, Nov. 7 at 9:30 a.m. with the Crimson taking on MIT. All matches will be played at Blodgett Pool.

About Harvard:
The Crimson enters the weekend as the fourth-seed in the tournament with a 5-16 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the Northern Division. Harvard is also 2-4 in home contests this season. Offensively, senior Egan Atkinson leads the squad with 28 goals while junior Alex Thompson has 22 scores to his credit. In net, the tandem of senior Nikhil Balaraman and sophomore Alexandre Popp look to continue their stellar defense in the playoffs.

Scouting the Field:
Brown enters the weekend as the top seed in the tournament with a 5-1 record in the Northern Division. Fordham also has a 5-1 record in the conference but owns the second seed due to head-to-head results. With a 4-2 record in league play, Iona has possession of the third seed. MIT ranks fifth in the championships with a 3-3 record. Queens (N.Y.) and Connecticut College round out the field as the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.

The Crimson will face the Engineers in the first match of the weekend. Harvard defeated MIT earlier this season, 9-6. Devin Lewis paces the Engineers with 37 goals scored on the season. Mark Artz (24), Brian Gardiner (18) and John Preis (11) have all tallied double-digits in scores. Along with those four, MIT has gotten goals from nine different players. Between the posts, three players have seen action on the year. Columbus Leonard is the main goaltender with 164 saves in 18 games played. Kevin Hsiue and Matt Hohenberger add defensive depth to the Engineers.

The Schedule:
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Game No.
9:30 a.m. (#4) Harvard vs. (#5) MIT 1
11:00 a.m. (#2) Fordham vs. (#7) Connecticut College 2
12:30 p.m. (#3) Iona vs. (#6) Queens (N.Y.) 3
3:00 p.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 4
4:30 p.m. (#1) Brown vs. Winner Game 1 5
6:00 p.m. Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 6
7:30 p.m. Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3 7

Sunday, November 8, 2009
9:00 a.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3 8
10:30 a.m. Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 5 Third Place
Noon Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 First Place

Looking Ahead:
With a fourth place finish or better at Northerns, Harvard will compete in the Eastern Championships Nov. 20-22. The tournament will be held in Cambridge, Mass. at MIT.