Harvard to Face Host MIT at CWPA Northern Division Championship

Senior co-captain leads the Crimson into the postseason.
Senior co-captain leads the Crimson into the postseason.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard, which is coming off a third-place finish at the Ivy Championship last weekend, will face Cambridge rival MIT at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division Championship. MIT will host the seven-team, 10-game tournament Nov. 5-6.

Saturday, November 5, 2011
Game 1 – 9:30 a.m. – Iona vs. Fordham
Game 2 – 11 a.m. – Brown vs. Connecticut College
Game 3 – 12:30 p.m. – MIT vs. Harvard
Game 4 – 3 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 5 – 4:30 p.m. – St. Francis vs. Winner Game 1
Game 6 – 6 p.m. – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 7 – 7:30 p.m. – Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Game 8 – 9 a.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3
Third place – 10:30 a.m. – Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 5
Championship – 12 p.m. – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 

What's at stake?
Harvard (8-16, 1-5 CWPA North) will have a chance to advance to the CWPA Eastern Championship for the first time since 2007 when the Crimson face MIT Saturday. A victory over the Engineers would put Harvard into the semifinal where it could finish in no worse than fourth place. Teams finishing in the top four will advance, while the bottom three will see the 2011 season come to an end. Three spots are up for grabs as No. 1 seed St. Francis cannot fall any lower than the tournament's third-place game.

The Eastern Championship will be hosted by Harvard Nov. 18-20 at Blodgett Pool. The top four Northern Division teams will square off against the best four Southern Division squads at the three-day event.

Seeding the Entrants
The Crimson earned the sixth seed in the tournament after going 1-5 in Northern Division play. MIT, Iona and Fordham tied with a 3-3 division record but the Engineers won the tiebreaker and gained the No. 3 seed. St. Francis went undefeated in the Northern Division to earn the top spot followed by Brown, MIT, Iona, Fordham, Harvard and Connecticut College.

Rubber Match
Neighbors Harvard and MIT have split two games over the course of 2011. The Crimson took the first bout, 13-5, to open the season at the MIT Invitational before the Engineers took the second, 8-4, in a match at Blodgett Pool. Harvard leads the all-time series with MIT, 74-19.

Youth Movement
A trio of freshman has come up big for the Crimson this season. John Holland-McCowan, who netted a pair of hat tricks last weekend, is tied for second on the team with 25 scores, while classmates Max Murphy (20) and Evan Ramsey (16) are fourth and fifth, respectively. Ramsey is the team leader on defense with 46 steals and has contributed 15 assists, good for second on the squad.