Third-Seeded Men's Water Polo Heads to Ivy Championships

Third-Seeded Men's Water Polo Heads to Ivy Championships

Sophomore John Holland-McCowan and the rest of the Crimson will head to Connecticut this weekend looking for their first Ivy League crown (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos). 

The Harvard men's water polo team heads to the Ivy League Championships at Yale as the No. 3 seed in the tournament. The Crimson will face both club and varsity squads in the two-day event for the Ancient Eight crown.

Last Time Out
The Crimson dropped its final two games of the regular season to St. Francis (N.Y.) and Mercyhurst Saturday. Harvard trailed the Terriers 8-6 in the third period; however, St. Francis pulled away down the stretch to win, 14-9. In the Crimson's second game of the day, the Lakers netted the game's final three goals to stun the Crimson, 11-10, to conclude the regular season.

The Ivy Championships
For the third straight season, the Ancient 8 will join varsity and club squads for the Ivy League Championships. Harvard placed third for in last year's tournament at Blodgett Pool, besting Columbia, 16-6, to take the third spot. Brown – this year's second seed – won the crown, dethroning the inaugural champions, Princeton, 16-5.

Determining The Seeds
Varsity teams are seeded based on their finish at the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championships and receive the top seeds in the event. Princeton – by virtue of winning the Eastern Championships last year – is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Brown, which placed fourth last year. Harvard is the No. 3 after taking seventh in the event. The club teams are seeded based on head-to-head results from the 2012 season. Columbia (10-1) earned the top seed followed by Dartmouth (10-3), Cornell (10-2), Yale (10-6) and Penn (11-2).

Event Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 27

Game 1

10 a.m.

Club No. 4 Yale vs. Club No. 1 Columbia

Game 2

11:30 a.m.

Club No. 2 Dartmouth vs. Club No. 3 Cornell

Game 3

1 p.m.

Varsity No. 3 Harvard vs. Club No. 5 Penn

Game 4

2:30 p.m.

Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Game 5

4 p.m.

Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

Game 6

5:30 p.m.

Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4

Sunday, Oct. 28

Game 7

10 a.m.

Varsity No. 2 Brown vs. Winner Game 3

Game 8

11:30 a.m.

Varsity No. 1 Princeton vs. Winner Game 4

Game 9

1  p.m.

Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6

Game 10

2:30 p.m.

Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

Game 11

4 p.m.

Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8

Game 12

5:30 p.m.

Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8


Racking Up The Awards
The Crimson has won eight CWPA weekly awards this season and had 15 players on the weekly honor roll. Noah Harrison leads the way with three individual honors, winning Rookie of the Week Sept. 3 and Oct. 8 and Player of the Week Oct. 8. Ben Zepfel and Blake Lee have also won the Rookie of the Week award twice as Zepfel won the award Sept. 17 and Oct. 15 and Lee brought the honor to Cambridge Sept. 17 and Oct. 22. Junior Jimmy Field also earned his first CWPA honor this season, winning Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 24.

Freshmen Phenoms
Harvard's seven-man freshman class has been a vital part of the team's resurgence in 2012. The group has accounted for 61.1 percent of goals (165/270), 60.9 percent of assists (109/179), 58.89 percent of steals (149/253) and 47 percent of saves (119/253). Ben Zepfel leads the team in goals with 56 and ranks third in steals with 26, while Blake Lee is tops in assists with 42 and steals with 49 and second in goals with 49. Noah Harrison is third in goals (43) and assists (26) and second in steals (47), and Robbie Fluegge has contributed 13 goals, 15 assists and 18 steals. In goal, Colin Woolway has made 119 saves.

Lucky Number 13
Harvard's next win will be its 13th of the season, which will be the most won under third-year head coach Ted Minnis. In his inaugural campaign, the Crimson was victorious in 12 games before winning 10 games last season. Minnis is also the coach of the Harvard women's water polo team, and he has led them to 17 wins in each of the past two seasons.

Up Next
Harvard will look to use the Ivy Championships as a springboard for the Northern Championships Nov. 3-4 at Brown. The Crimson is the third seed in the tournament as well and will look to return to the Eastern Championships by defeating a to-be-determined sixth seed.