No. 11 Men's Water Polo Goes 1-1 to Conclude the Bruno Classic

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- On the final day of the Bruno Classic, the No. 11 men's water polo team bested Austin College, 18-6, but fell to No. 5 Pacific, 20-10. The Crimson moves to 2-4 on the season.

In game three of the Bruno Classic, the Crimson opened up play against Austin College with a goal from Austin Sechrest just 59 seconds in. The second goal from Dennis Blyashov followed less 30 seconds after with an assist from Alex Tsotadze. Harvard finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run including a six-on-five goal from Charlie Owens

The Crimson kept the 'Roos scoreless until the third quarter, when Will Koelzer put the visitors on the board making it 11-1. Austin added three more goals before going into the fourth trailing by 11. Michael Sonsini began the fourth quarter with a solo shot adding a sixteenth goal for Harvard. The final goal of the game came from Tsotadze. The Crimson totaled 14 steals while drawing four kick-outs. 

In the final game at Blodgett against Pacific, both teams came out of the gate shooting. Sechrest, the sparkplug, found the net for his second opening goal on the day. The Tigers quickly responded putting up one on a six-on-five. Pacific ended the first quarter on a three goal run, leading by two.

The second quarter saw an offensive battle as the Crimson slowly cut the Tigers' lead to two. Owens fired his second shot of the day bringing the Crimson to 3-6. The back and forth battle continued with back-to-back goals from Blyashov, shifting the momentum to the Crimson where Sonsini capitalized, firing the final shot of the half edging Harvard closer, 6-8. 

During the second half, the Tigers fired shot after shot, while the Crimson struggled to keep the pace. Pacific's lefty Luke Pavillard continued his perfect shooting into the fourth tabbing three more goals. The Crimson answered back after six consecutive Tiger goals, with a goals from Sechrest and Owens. Owens tallied the Crimson's final goal, his fourth, of the game with three minutes remaining. 

Harvard Weekend Highlights

  • Owens netted six on day including four against University of the Pacific.
  • Sechrest opened up play with a goal in both games of the day.
  • Tsotadze tallied three assists against Pacific.
  • The Crimson made history with the win over No. 7 UC-Davis. Only on one other occasion did Harvard defeat a top 10 ranked opponent, 2016's win over No. 9 UC-Davis.

Penny for Your Thoughts?
Head Coach Ted Minnis stated he liked the way the team play but the team played in phases, such was throughout the last half. "I thought we were a little gassed and to play at the tempo we play at it was not a good game of us in that sense game," said Minnis. "It was a good starting point. If we're playing our best water polo on September 2nd, we're in trouble." Junior Co-captain Austin Sechrest shared his own thoughts on facing top ten ranked opponents throughout the weekend, "It showed we're not afraid to play against top teams in the country and that when we're playing our best we can really hang with these teams."