No. 8 Men’s Water Polo Splits to Open Conference Play

No. 8 Men’s Water Polo Splits to Open Conference Play

Senior Noah Harrison totaled career-highs with eight goals and seven steals against Iona (Paul Rutherford).

– No. 8 Harvard men's water polo split a pair of Northeast Water Polo Conference games on Saturday. The Crimson defeated Iona, 16-10, in the opener, before falling to St. Francis Brooklyn by a score of 10-7.

The Crimson nearly matched a program record after defeating Iona to earn its ninth-straight victory, ultimately falling one game short of the 10-game win streak held by the 2002 and 2015 squads. Harvard moved to 11-2 on the year, including 1-1 in conference action.

In the opener against Iona, the Crimson found itself in a battle early. After the first quarter, the two teams were knotted up at 4-4.

Senior Noah Harrison started to take over in the second, rattling off three consecutive goals for his first of two natural hat tricks in the contest. Senior Dan Stevens then beat the Gaels keeper to give the Crimson a one-goal advantage (8-7) at the intermission.

The Crimson defense stepped up in the third quarter, holding its opponents scoreless and allowing the offense to extend the lead to six (13-7). Sophomore Nick Bunn struck early in the frame before Harrison scored four-straight goals, giving him a career-high eight in the contest. The senior also led Harvard with a career-best seven steals.

Harvard freshmen helped seal the victory over Iona, taking care of the scoring duties in the fourth quarter. Freshman Bennie Seybold totaled two of his three goals in the fourth quarter, while freshman Austin Sechrest found the back of the net to go along with an assist.

Sophomore Anthony Ridgley and freshman Nikhil Suri split time in net, each recording a save in the contest. Ridgley added two assists and a steal as well.

In the second contest against St. Francis Brooklyn, the Crimson fell behind 2-1 after the opening period. Harrison scored in the first quarter, extending his goal-scoring streak to 13 consecutive games.

The Terriers opened the game up in the second period, outscoring the Crimson by three goals to take a 6-2 lead at the half.

The deficit proved to be too much to come back from as St. Francis Brooklyn matched Harvard goal-for-goal in the third quarter to hold a 9-5 lead heading into the final frame. Bunn scored for the second time in the fourth and senior Viktor Wrobel tallied a goal but the Crimson ultimately fell, 10-7.

Offensively, Bunn led the way with two goals. Sophomore Grayson Judge collected his first score of the year, and sophomore Nathan Ondracek found the back of the net as well. Senior Joey Colton recorded an assist, giving him a team-high four on the day. Judge added an assist as well.

Ridgley started in net, totaling three saves and an assist to go along with four steals. Suri replaced him in goal, playing solid with four saves in late action.

Harvard men's water polo will return to the pool against No. 14 Princeton on Sunday, Oct. 2 in a match slated for a 10:00 a.m. start.