Men's Water Polo Heads West for the Rodeo Tournament

Men's Water Polo Heads West for the Rodeo Tournament

The men's water polo team prepares for a five-game slate against top west coast competitors (Photo Courtsey: Gil Talbot).

CAMBRDIGE, Mass. – After seeing its seven-game winning streak come to an end Sunday, the men's water polo team will head to California for a five-game swing. The Crimson will compete in The Rodeo hosted by Santa Clara, which features eight teams playing a total of 18 games over the course of four days.

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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.


Schedule of Events

Concordia 8 p.m.


Santa Clara 12 p.m.
Cal Baptist 5:20 p.m.

UC Davis 11 a.m.
Fresno Pacific   3 p.m.

Please note: All times listed are EST.

To visit the Rodeo Tournament Central page, please click here.

Last Time Out
The Crimson competed in the Ivy Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., last weekend. For the fourth time this season, Harvard squared off against Brown, but dropped a 12-9 decision to the Bears. Sophomore Blake Lee led the way with two goals, three assists and three steals, while Joey Colton added two scores and one helper.  Defensively, the Crimson racked up 11 steals led by Lee and Ben Zepfel. Colin Woolway (2 saves) and Jimmy Field (1 save) split time in goal for Harvard. The Crimson rebounded from its first round defeat, handily defeating Penn, 22-11 to finish in third.

Related Link: Men's Water Polo Splits at Ivy Championship; Finish in Third Place

Golden State
This weekend's trip will be a homecoming for many of the Crimson. Head Coach Ted Minnis, Assistant Coach Jessi Wood and 13 Harvard student-athletes are natives of California.

Underclassmen Leading the Way
Harvard's underclassmen have been a vital part of the team's success in 2013. The group has accounted for 85.5 percent of goals (177/207), 88.8 percent of assists (120/135), 84.3 percent of steals (189/224) and 81.4 percent of saves (132/164). Sophomore Noah Harrison leads the attack with 39 goals, while classmate Zepfel has contributed 27 goals and freshman Viktor Wrobel has added 26. Lee is ranked first with 32 assists followed by Colton (30) and Harrison (21 assists).

Racking Up the Awards
The Crimson has won ten CWPA weekly awards this season and had 14 players on the weekly honor roll. Woolway leads the way with four individual honors, winning Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 14. 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

National Ranking
Harvard currently sits at No. 19 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, and has remained in the rankings for three consecutive weeks. The best rank in program history was 15th during the week of Oct. 9, 2002.

Defense Wins Championships
During Harvard's recent seven-game win streak, the Crimson 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. Brown snapped the Crimson's win streak at the Ivy Championships.

About the Field
Seven of the eight teams in the field enter the weekend ranked. Concordia (No. 10) is the highest ranked team in the field, while UC Davis is not far behind at No. 11. Host Santa Clara (No. 16), Cal Baptist (No. 17), Bucknell (No. 18), Harvard (No. 19) and Brown (tied for 20th) round out the top-20. 

All-Time Against Golden State Opponents
Harvard owns a 24-63 record against teams from California.  The Crimson will look to improve its all-time series records against Concordia (0-1), Santa Clara (1-5), UC Davis (1-3) and Cal Baptist (1-6).  Harvard will face Fresno Pacific for the first time in program history.  

No. 10 Concordia
Concordia improved to 13-7 after handing Pomana-Pitzer a, 14-10 defeat.  Jacob Belamaric found the back of the net four times while Stefano Ragosa tallied three goals in the win.  Jaime Saunders was in goal for the Eagles and stopped eight saves.

No. 16 Santa Clara
Santa Clara carries a 9-9 record into the weekend.  The Broncos recently dropped a, 16-2, decision to water polo powerhouse UCLA.  Theo Nasser (21 goals) leads the Santa Clara attack while Graham McClone (20 goals) and Tucker Carlson (18 goals) round out the top three offensive forces.  Matt Pritchett has registered 167 saves in 18 games in net for the Broncos.

No. 17 Cal Baptist
Cal Baptists enters the weekend with a 13-9 record.  The Lancers recently defeated Fresno Pacific, 16-11.  Cal Baptist is led by senior Matt Puig who has netted 47 goals this season while classmate Keith Jizmejian has tallied 33 goals.  On the defensive end, senior David Rodriguez has registered 48 steals.  Rookie Joseph Moorman (139 steals) and junior Dylan Vrooman (85 saves) have split time in net for the Lancers.

No. 11 UC Davis
UC Davis brings a 7-10, 5-0 record into the Rodeo tournament.  The Aggies fell to No. 4 Stanford, 19-5, earlier in the week for the third time this season. Chris Richardson leads the attack with 33 goals and 10 assists while Trevor Allen (27 goals and 3 assists) and Bernie Rogers (26 goals and 11 assists) have also been consistent contributors.  In goal, Philip Bates has registered 109 saves and Zach Tudhope has 75. 

Fresno Pacific
The Sunbirds come into this weekend with a 6-9 mark after going 1-3 at the Gary Troyer tournament last weekend.  Fresno Pacific topped Notre Dame College before falling to No. 8 Loyola Marymount, No. 19 George Washington and Pomona-Pitzer. 

Up Next
The Crimson returns to Blodgett Pool for CWPA Northern Division play next weekend.