Men's Water Polo Heads to the Ivy Championship

Men's Water Polo Heads to the Ivy Championship

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 17 Harvard men's water polo team travels to Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend for the Ivy Championship hosted by Penn.  The two-day tournament brings together all Ivy institutions fielding either a varsity or club water polo program.

Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network will stream four of the six home matches at Blodgett Pool this season, including Senior Day against Fordham, Nov. 3. 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. 

Penn will stream the nine-game event with a Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Streaming Kit.  Viewers can purchase a subscription to the weekend tournament by clicking here

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Last Time Out
The Crimson edged its crosstown rival MIT, 10-7, in a midweek matchup Wednesday night. Harvard used a balanced attack in the win as seven different players found the back of the net.  Noah Harrison led the effort with three goals, while Joey Colton chipped in two scores.  On the defensive end, Dan Stevens added two steals and Colin Woolway registered nine saves in net. The Crimson has downed MIT twice this season.

The Ivy Championships
For the fourth consecutive season, the Ancient Eight will join varsity and club squads for the Ivy League Championships. Last year, the tournament was not played to a conclusion due to severe weather. Harvard knocked off Penn, 21-15, in the opening round of the event before falling to Brown, 19-5 in the semifinals.

Seeding the Field
Varsity teams are seeded based on their performance at the 2012 Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championships and receive the top seeds in the event.  After a third-place finish at Eastern, Princeton is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Brown, which played fifth last year.  Harvard is the No. 3 seed after finishing seventh in the event. The five club teams are seeded based on their order of finish at the 2012 Ivy Championship. Dartmouth (8-0) earned the top seed followed by Penn (8-0 CWPA), Cornell (8-0), Columbia (6-2) and Yale (3-5).

Schedule of Events
Harvard will take on Brown in the semifinals Sunday Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.   

National Ranking
Harvard currently sits at No. 17 in the CWPA national rankings. The Crimson, which hasn't been ranked since the 2002 season, first breached the poll during the week of Oct. 2, landing in a tie for 19th. The best rank in program history was 15th during the week of Oct. 9, 2002.

Defense Wins Championships
During Harvard's current seven-game win streak, the Crimson has outscored opponents, 87-51, and allowed an average of 7.3 goals per game during the span. Defense has been the key during the stretch, as the team has recorded 81 steals, an average of 11.6 per game, and 54 saves, an average of 7.7 per game.

Underclassmen Leading the Way
Harvard's underclassmen have been a vital part of the team's success in 2013. The group has accounted for 89.5 percent of goals (170/199), 89.2 percent of assists (116/130), 84.9 percent of steals (181/213) and 79.4 percent of saves (120/151).

Sophomore Noah Harrison leads the attack with 38 goals, while classmate Ben Zepfel has contributed 27 goals and Wrobel has added 25. Lee is ranked first with 30 assists followed by Colton (29 assists) and Harrison (21 assists).

Racking Up the Awards
The Crimson has won ten CWPA weekly awards this season and had 11 players on the weekly honor roll. Colin Woolway leads the way with four individual honors, winning Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 14. Noah Harrison has been tabbed Player of the Week three times (Sept. 23, Sept. 30, and Oct. 14). Colton and Wrobel have each picked up Rookie of the Week accolades. Colton won the award Sept. 9 and Oct. 14 and Wrobel brought the honor to Cambridge Sept. 30.

Related Link: Harrison, Woolway, Colton Named CWPA Weekly Award Winners

All-Time Against Ancient 8
The Crimson owns a 102-105 all-time record against Ivy opponents, and remains undefeated against the club programs from Cornell (1-0), Columbia (8-0), Dartmouth (10-0), Penn (2-0) and Yale (46-0). The Crimson trails the all-times series against Brown, 22-81, and Princeton, 13-24. Harvard has handed Brown two losses this season, while falling to Princeton, 14-7, at the Princeton Invitational in September.