Men’s Water Polo Home Opener, Breast Cancer Awareness Game Set for This Weekend

Men’s Water Polo Home Opener, Breast Cancer Awareness Game Set for This Weekend

Max Eliot leads the Crimson with 21 goals (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Crimson fans will finally get to see the men's water polo team in action at home this weekend as Harvard welcomes Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division foes MIT and Brown to Blodgett Pool.

The Crimson will face its Cambridge neighbor Friday at 7:30 p.m. before seeing Brown at noon on Saturday. The second game of the weekend will be Harvard's breast cancer awareness game as well as water polo's feature game of the Harvard Student Rewards Program. The first 50 students in attendance will receive a free Crimson t-shirt.

CWPA Northern Division play began Sept. 24 as Harvard was unable to muster a win against Iona, 13-4, and Fordham, 10-9. The Crimson enters play with a 4-7 overall record.

The Crimson is led by a combination of veterans and freshmen. Junior Max Eliot has a team-high 21 goals followed by senior co-captain Kevin DiSilvestro with 13. A pair of freshmen have also provided an offensive lift for Harvard as John Holland-McCowan and Max Murphy have 12 goals apiece. Defensively, freshman Evan Ramsey leads the Crimson with 27 steals, while senior goalie Alexandre Popp has made 86 saves.

In Harvard's four wins, Eliot is averaging more than a hat trick (3.25 goals per game). With 21 scores, he has already surpassed his goal total of 18 from a year ago.

Harvard squares off against cross-town rival MIT for the second time in 2011. In the season opener, Harvard downed MIT, 13-5, behind two goals apiece from five Crimson players. Kevin DiSilvestro added three assists in the win.

The Engineers (5-11, 1-1 CWPA North) opened CWPA Northern Division play with a split last weekend. MIT lost to Fordham, 10-9, in overtime before defeating Iona, 12-11. MIT is led by sophomore Craig Cheney who tops the team in goals (25) and steals (31). Freshman Dylan Hallman has added 18 goals, while senior goalie Columbus Leanard has made 118 saves.

Harvard leads the all-time series against the Engineers in dominating fashion, 74-18, but MIT has won three of the last five meetings dating back to 2008. The Crimson holds the longest winning streak in the series at 45 games from 1982-97. The eight-goal difference in the first matchup of 2011 equaled the largest margin of victory in the series since an identical score in 2002.

Since 2003, 15 of the last 19 games between Cambridge rivals MIT and Harvard have been decided by three goals or fewer. The Crimson is 5-10 in those 15 games, but an even 3-3 in the last six dating back to 2007.

The No. 20-ranked Bears were riding a five-game winning streak before dropping a 16-7 decision to CWPA Northern Division opponent No. 19 St. Francis (N.Y.) Sept. 25. The loss dropped Brown's overall record to 6-5, including a 2-5 mark against ranked opponents. The Bears picked up wins against No. 20 Johns Hopkins, 10-6, and No. 18 Bucknell, 8-7, Sept. 17 at the North-South Tournament in Annapolis, Md.

Brown is led by last season's Northern Division Player of the Year and ACWPC Honorable Mention All-American Svetozar Stefanovic. Entering 2011, Stefanovic had tallied 146 career goals over two seasons, including a school record 81 scores in his first year of collegiate water polo. The Serbian was honored as the CWPA Northern division Player of the Week Sept. 21 after totaling 20 goals, six assists and eight steals in three games at the North-South Tournament.

Brown leads the all-time series against Harvard, 74-20. The Bears are on an eight-game win streak in the series and have won 10 of the last 11 matchups. The Crimson last defeated Brown in 2006, 8-7 in triple overtime.

Up Next
Action continues at Blodgett Pool next weekend as the Crimson battle St. Francis (N.Y.), Connecticut College and Mercyhurst Oct. 15-16.