No. 13 Men’s Water Polo Earns Conference Wins Over MIT and No. 10 Brown

No. 13 Men’s Water Polo Earns Conference Wins Over MIT and No. 10 Brown

Senior Dan Stevens pushed the Crimson past No. 10 Brown with an overtime goal on Saturday (Paul Rutherford).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
– No. 13 Harvard men's water polo picked up serious ground in the Northeast Water Polo Conference with victories over MIT and No. 10 Brown on Saturday. The Crimson handily defeated the Engineers, 12-3, before taking down the Bears in overtime, 9-8.

The Crimson moved to 20-5 overall, including 5-2 in NWPC action, with the two victories. Harvard took down MIT for the second time this season and evened up the season series with Brown at 1-1. With the win over the Bears, the Crimson earned its eighth win over a ranked opponent in 2016.

In the opener against the Engineers, the Crimson jumped out to a 5-0 lead as five different players scored in the period. Harvard increased its lead to 9-1 at the half and didn't look back, ultimately taking home the 12-3 victory.

Freshman Austin Sechrest led the Crimson with four goals, while senior Noah Harrison recorded a hat trick. Junior Colin Chiapello notched two goals of his own as well.

Defensively, Harrison led the way with three steals with senior Joey Colton and freshman Charlie Owens tallied two swipes, each.

Both sophomore Anthony Ridgley and freshman Nikhil Suri saw action against MIT, as Ridgley tied a career-high with 15 saves and Suri amassed four stops in the game. Ridgley also added a game-high four assists on the offensive end.

Harvard carried that momentum over to Brown for its second contest of the day. The Crimson led the Bears, 5-3, after the first half of play. Harrison recorded two scores in the second quarter to give Harvard the two-goal advantage through two frames.

Sechrest tallied the only score of the third quarter as Brown narrowed the Harvard lead to one (6-5). Sophomore Nick Bunn collected his second goal of the game in the fourth quarter, but the Bears battled their way back to take an 8-7 lead. Sechrest then provided the heroics, scoring late in the fourth quarter to tie the contest at 8-8 and sent it into overtime. 

In the first overtime period, Sechrest found senior Dan Stevens who beat the Brown goalkeeper from the two-meter line for the game-winning goal. The Crimson moved to 2-0 in overtime games this season.

Chiapello and junior Harry Tafur also scored for Crimson against the Bears, while Colton paced the offense with two assists. Colton also led the defense with three steals.

Ridgley totaled another double-digit save performance between the pipes with 10 saves, marking his sixth of the season.

The Crimson returns to the pool with three conferences matches, all in Cambridge, to finish off regular season play. Harvard will host St. Francis (N.Y) and Princeton on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Iona on Sunday, Nov. 6 at Blodgett Pool.