No. 10 Men’s Water Polo Splits a Pair of NWPC Contests

Senior Viktor Wrobel totaled four goals over two games on Saturday (Paul Rutherford).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
– No. 10 Harvard men's water polo split a pair of Northeast Water Polo Conference matches on Saturday. The Crimson defeated No. 20 St. Francis Brooklyn, before falling to No. 10 Princeton, 11-10.  

Harvard moved to 21-6 overall, including 6-3 in NWPC play. The Crimson will finish up its regular season schedule with a conference game against Iona tomorrow at 2 p.m.

The Crimson opened the day with a victory over No. 20 Saint Francis Brooklyn. Harvard led for the majority of the game as it evened up the season series with the Terriers at 1-1.

Harvard took an early lead after senior Joey Colton found the back of the net to give Harvard a 1-0 advantage. Sophomore Nick Bunn scored the next two goals for the Crimson as it held a 3-2 lead after the opening quarter.

Senior Noah Harrison wasted no time adding to Harvard's lead, scoring 20 seconds into the second frame. Colton then extended the Crimson lead to three (5-2), coming up with a steal on the defensive end and finishing with a long strike into the lower left corner for the goal.

St. Francis Brooklyn responded with a trio of scores to tie the contest at 5-5. The Terriers went onto briefly take the lead before sophomore goaltender Anthony Ridgley had a solid stop in net which led to a transition score from junior Harry Tafur to knot it back up (6-6).

Bunn collected his third goal of the game with just over three minutes left in the third to give Harvard a 7-6 lead. After the Terriers came back and tied the game, the Crimson scored twice in the last minute of the third quarter as seniors Dan Stevens and Viktor Wrobel beat the Terriers' goalkeeper to give Harvard a 9-7 advantage.

St. Francis managed to add a goal with four seconds left the in frame to make it a one-goal contest (9-8) heading into the fourth. Both teams picked it up on the defensive end in the final quarter, as neither NWPC squad scored until Bunn found Stevens for the Crimson goal with 3:40 remaining.

The Terriers answered with a goal on their next possession, but a beautiful find from Colton to Stevens on a one-man advantage gave Harvard the two-goal cushion. The Crimson locked down late to preserve the 11-9 victory.

Against the Tigers, Harvard jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. Wrobel scored twice for the Crimson, while Harrison and junior Harry Tafur added a score of their own.

Harvard picked up right when it left off in the second frame, as Harrison scored his second to grab a 5-2 lead over Princeton. The Tigers battled back and to narrow the deficit to one at 5-4, but Harrison quickly gave the Crimson a two-goal advantage (6-4) again with his third goal of the game.

Princeton remained unphased as it rattled off consecutive scores to even the game at 6-6. The Tigers added another score to take its first lead (7-6) with a couple minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Tafur managed to find the back of the net again to momentarily tie the game again, but Princeton responded to take the 8-7 advantage into the intermission.

The Tigers maintained its momentum out of the half, extending the lead to three (10-7). Harvard fired back with a 2-0 run, as freshman Bennie Seybold and Colton tallied scores for the Crimson to make it 10-9 at the end of the third frame.

After Princeton began the fourth with a goal, Wrobel picked up his third goal of the game with 6:49 to play in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 11-10. The Tigers, however, managed to hold off the Crimson attack for the remainder of the game as Princeton took home the 11-10 decision.