Men's Water Polo Begins CWPA Schedule
Junior goalie Alexandre Popp (above) will guard the net this weekend for the Crimson (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Crimson opens Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division play Saturday at home against Fordham and Iona.
1 p.m. vs. Fordham
9 p.m. vs. Iona
Thompson was named the CWPA Northern Division Player of the Week for Sept. 7 after leading the Crimson in scoring for two of its three games at the MIT Invitational. Thompson scored seven goals, notched an assist and had eight steals over the two-day tournament, including four goals in the 12-8 victory over Cal Lutheran.
Voith was chosen as Harvard's COOP Athlete of the Week for Sept. 14 after he had a solid weekend in the pool at the Princeton Invitational, leading the Crimson to a thrilling, 9-8, win over George Washington and near upsets of nationally-ranked Cal Baptist and Princeton. Voith totaled five goals, four assists and five steals in four games over the weekend, including three goals against No. 18 Princeton in the Tigers' home pool Sept. 11 in a televised game.
Three's a Crowd
The senior trio of Thompson, Lee and co-captain Voith has been overwhelming the Crimson's opponents with its presence this season.
The three seniors occupy the team's top three spots in scoring, Voith and Lee hold the Crimson's top two spots in assists and Thompson and Voith top the team list for steals.
Harvard put on quite a scoring display against Washington & Jefferson in Sunday's 11th-place ECAC Championships game, putting up 19 goals in a 19-3 route.
The Crimson has scored 19 or more goals four times since 2002, with the most recent coming against Connecticut College, Nov. 7, 2009.
Harvard hosted the 2010 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships at Blodgett Pool Sept. 17-19. The Crimson entered the 12-team tournament seeded 10th and wound up finishing 11th with a 19-3 victory Sunday over Washington & Jefferson.
Harvard has gone 2-2 in its last four games after starting the season 1-4 and will look to continue that momentum heading into CWPA league play.
The team is led by its three seniors, Alex Thompson, Jeff Lee and co-captain Bret Voith. Thompson leads the team in scoring (17 goals) with Lee (16) right behind him. Thompson also leads the team in steals (16) with Voith (12) at second on the team. Voith has accumulated the most assists on the team so far (10) and Lee follows him with seven on the year. Junior Alexandre Popp has made 71 stops in goal for the Crimson and has a .514 save percentage on the year
Fordham (7-7, 1-0 CWPA) finished right where it was expected to at the ECAC Championships last weekend after entering as the No. 6 seed. The Rams wound up sixth after a 9-6 loss to Johns Hopkins.
Fordham participated in two invitationals, Navy and Princeton, to start off its season. The Rams have fallen just short of victory several times against ranked teams, including an 11-10 loss against No. 14 Navy and a 13-9 overtime loss to No. 13 Santa Clara at the Princeton Invitational.
Harvard leads the all-time series against the Rams, 23-11, but Fordham has won five straight meetings dating back to 2008. The Crimson holds the longest winning streak in the series at 13 from 2000-07.
The Gaels (1-6, 0-1 CWPA) finished 10th at last week's ECAC Championships after entering the tournament seeded eighth. Iona went 1-2 in the tournament with one-goal losses to George Washington (5-4) and Mercyhurst (9-8), while winning its second-round game, 12-5, over Washington & Jefferson.
The Crimson holds the all-time series advantage over Iona, 25-15, but the Gaels have had the upperhand as of late. Iona has won three straight against the Crimson and four of six since 2006.
The Crimson will continue its homestand next week with a non-conference matchup against MIT Oct. 2 at Blodgett Pool. The team then heads west to California for five games Oct. 8-10.