Two wins send the Crimson to the CWPA Northern Division Championship game. (Zack Williamson)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - No. 19 Harvard men's water polo (21-7, 7-4) picked up two wins at the CWPA Northern Division championship tournament today in Zesiger Pool, beating MIT (13-15, 4-8) 14-8 and upsetting No. 17 St. Francis (13-11, 10-2), 11-10, in overtime.
Harvard went ahead early in the game and led wire-to-wire, winning 14-8.
The Crimson offense came out firing, finding the back of the net five times in the first quarter. Four different Harvard players scored in the quarter, lead by two from Blake Lee.
After scoring four more goals in the second, the Crimson went into the half up 9-5. Lee scored twice in the third quarter, pushing the Harvard lead to 12-8.
In the final frame, goalie Colin Woolway and senior captain Max Murphy stepped up to secure the six-point victory. Woolway shut out the Engineers in the final frame, making 16 saves in the game, while Murphy scored the Crimson's two fourth-quarter goals.
Against No. 17 St. Francis
Harvard fell behind early in the game but picked up its play in the second half, eventually winning 11-10 in overtime.
The first quarter saw both teams play strong defense, ending 2-2. In the second period, St. Francis wrestled control of the game, shutting out the Crimson and going into halftime ahead, 5-2.
Junior Ben Zepfel was fantastic in the third quarter, scoring three of Harvard's five goals. While the Crimson out scored St. Francis in the third quarter, the Terriers were able to find the back of the net three times, taking a 8-7 lead into the final frame.
The Crimson and Terrier defenses buckled down in the fourth quarter, with three total goals scored. Woolway and the Harvard defense one goal and the offense mustered two scores to tie the game at 9-9, forcing overtime.
In the first overtime period, freshman Colin Chiapello and sophomore Viktor Wrobel found the back of the net, while the Crimson defense shutout the Terrier offense for the first time in the game. Harvard would take a 11-9 lead into the final overtime period.
St. Francis scored its first overtime goal of the game with two minutes left to play, bringing the score to 11-10. With time running out, the Terrier's offense found space down the left side of the pool setting up a one-on-one chance to tie the game, but Murphy came from behind and made the game-winning steal, sending Harvard to the championship game.
The Crimson will now take on No. 11 Brown, tomorrow, Nov. 9 at 12 p.m. for the CWPA Northern Division Championship.
Follow all of tomorrow's action here