The Crimson travel to the Bruno Fall Classic at Brown this weekend (photo courtsey:Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's water polo team's 2013 season gets underway at the Bruno Fall Classic this weekend at Brown. The Crimson is slated to face No. 10 St. Francis (N.Y.), No. 3 Stanford and No. 16 Brown on Saturday and Washington & Jefferson and No. 9 UC Irvine on Sunday.
Harvard ended the 2012 season with a 15-19 overall record, giving the Crimson its most victories since 2002. The Crimson placed third in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division Championship before advancing to the CWPA Eastern Division Championships and placing seventh for the second consecutive season. Harvard returns 15 players, including a trio of scorers that accounted for 198 of the teams 338 goals last season. Sophomore Ben Zepfel, who was named to the CWPA Northern Division first team, led the offense with 78 goals while classmates Blake Lee added 62 goals and Noah Harrison tallied 58. The Crimson have three goalies on the roster; senior Jimmy Field, sophomore Connor Denney and Colin Woolway freshman Alex Eckstein.
Ivy League Digital NetworkThe Ivy League Digital Network will stream four of the six home matches at Blodgett Pool this season, including Senior Day against Fordham, Nov. 3. The network will also stream all the games at the Bruno Fall Classic this weekend. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.
The Crimson added four freshmen to the roster for the 2013 season. Joey Colton, Alex Eckstein, Daniel Stevens and Viktor Wrobel form the class of 2017. The class includes three student-athletes from California and one hails from New York.
Seniors Jimmy Field and Will Roller have been selected to lead the Crimson in the 2013 season. Roller, who also served as a captain last season, tallied 31 goals and 39 assists while Field finished the 2012 season with 166 saves.
Ted Minnis enters his fourth season as the Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach. He has a career record of 47-55 (.461) while at Harvard. Minnis led the Crimson to third place in the CWPA Northern Division, the highest finish since 2007. Minnis is joined by two assistant coaches Jessi Wood and Kristin Stanford.
No. 10 St. Francis (N.Y.)
The Terriers, who earned a No. 10 ranking in the CWPA Preseason Poll, open up their season against Harvard in the first game of the Bruno Fall Classic. St. Francis is coming off a banner year in 2012, where the Terriers finished 17-9 overall, claimed the CWPA Northern Division Championship and the Eastern Championship, and placed third at the NCAA Final Four. The Terriers are led by Marko Dzigurski, who netted 65 goals and 39 assists last season.
No. 3 Stanford
Stanford travels to the East Coast to kick off their 2013 season at the Bruno Fall Classic against Brown. Stanford, which is ranked No. 3 in the CWPA preseason poll, finished the 2012 season with a 16-7 record and placed third at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship. The returning roster is highlighted by Brett Bonanni, MPSF Newcomer of the Year, led the offense in 2012 with 73 goals, Alex Bowen (64 goals), BJ Churnside (31 goals) and fifth year senior Scott Platshon returns in goal (161 saves).
No. 16 Brown
Brown starts the season ranked No. 16 in the CWPA preseason poll. Last year the team went 29-4 overall and undefeated in conference play. The Bears reached the title game of the CWPA Northern Division Championship, where they fell 8-7 to St. Francis before earning a fifth-place finish at the CWPA Eastern Division Championship. With the loss of four-time CWPA Northern Division Player of the Year, Svetozar Stefanovic, Brown's offensive will rely on junior Henry Fox (67 goals, 22 assists) and Nick Deaver (40 goals and 43 assists).
Washington & Jefferson return four of their top five scorers from last year's squad that went 9-15 overall in the Division III Eastern conference. The offense will be led by Mike Magdic who is just two goals shy of the 100th career goal milestone. Dan Francisco will start in goal for W&J after tallying 159 saves last season.
No. 9 UC Irvine
UC Irvine enters the weekend ranked No. 9 in the CWPA preseason poll. The Eaters ended last year with a 14-12 overall record. The returners are featured by All-Americans Bojan Hrlec and Mitch Wise who netted 63 and 62 goals respectively. UC Irvine also brings back three goalies; senior Alex Kazmier (161 saves), Michael Bailey (45 saves) and Dylan Peterson (48 saves).
Harvard heads down to the Princeton Invitational next weekend where they will face off against Navy, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and George Washington. The Crimson home opener is a doubleheader against Connecticut College and Brown on Sept. 28 at Blodgett Pool.