Harvard Prepares for Final Home Game of the Season
The Harvard men's water polo team returns home to Blodgett Pool for its final home game of 2010 as Ivy League rival Brown visits for a Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division matchup starting at 8 p.m.
Thursday will mark the final home game for Harvard's three seniors: Jeff Lee, Alex Thompson, and co-captain Bret Voith. The senior trio has led the Crimson statistically all season long and will be honored for its contributions to the team Thursday night.
Senior co-captain Bret Voith has totaled more than 20 goals, 20 assists and 20 steals so far this year to reach an impressive season triple-double. With 24 goals, 23 assists and 24 steals, he is the only member of the Crimson to achieve this feat as of yet. Junior co-captain Luka Babic is only two assists away (18) from accomplishing the same milestone this season, with 20 goals and 20 steals to his name.
Harvard had its best showing in years playing in the Golden State last weekend, despite traveling over 2,500 miles to play five games in three days. The Crimson picked up two wins at the Claremont Convergence Tournament, a 12-8 win over Occidental College and a 21-2 victory against Caltech. It marked the first time in three years the team won any games on the West Coast (2007, 14-13 vs. Cal Baptist) and the first time it won at least two games since the 2004 Claremont Convergence Tournament with wins over Pomona-Pitzer and La Verne College.
Harvard (6-11, 0-2 CWPA) won two games in California for the first time in six years and finished its West Coast five-game road trip at 2-3, which included losses to two nationally-ranked teams: No. 5 UC Santa Barbara and No. 18 Pomona-Pitzer.
The team is led in scoring once again by its three seniors, Lee, Thompson and Voith. After a big weekend in California, the trio tops the team's scoring list with 25, 23 and 24 goals, respectively. Junior goalie Alexandre Popp has been solid in goal for the Crimson and has 139 saves on the year.
The Bears (12-4, 5-1 CWPA) took last week off after sweeping three straight CWPA road games against MIT, Iona and Fordham Oct. 1-3. Their 12-4 record includes two losses against No. 14 St. Francis, one of which came in Blodgett Pool Sept. 19 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship game. Freshman James McNamara was named the CWPA Northern Division Rookie of the Week and senior Gordon Hood earned Player of the Week honors for the week of Oct. 4.
Brown leads the all-time series against Harvard, 72-20. The Bears are currently on a six-game winning streak in the series and have won nine of the last 11 matchups. The Crimson last defeated Brown in 2006, 8-7 in triple overtime at Blodgett Pool.
Players of the Week
Two Harvard players have earned Player of the Week nods, with seniors Alex Thompson and co-captain Bret Voith getting recognized this season.
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.
Harvard heads to New York City Saturday for a CWPA doubleheader, first against host No. 14 St. Francis (N.Y.) followed by a nightcap against Queens (N.Y.). The following day, Oct. 17, Harvard heads to New London, Conn., to play Connecticut College in another CWPA showdown.