No. 9 Men’s Water Polo Sweeps Day Two of The Princeton Invitational

Photo taken by Gil Talbot
Photo taken by Gil Talbot

PRINCETON, N.J.- The No. 9 Harvard men's water polo team bested both Navy and Fordham on the final day of the Princeton Invitational. The Crimson defeated Navy 16-9 and kept the momentum flowing into the next face off with a 15-10 win over Fordham. 

In the morning matchup against Navy, Dennis Blyashov opened up scoring play with back-to-black goals just a minute and three seconds into the game. Austin Sechrest kept the Crimson goals flowing with a six-on-five goal. Navy's Kevin Volkov responded with a pair of goals, the first came from the outside followed by a shot on a man up. Nathan Ondracek netted one, putting the Crimson up 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. 

Harvard saw four more goals in the second from Blyashov, Ondracek, Bruno Snow and Bennie Seybold. At the end of the first half, Harvard maintained the 8-5 lead. 

The Crimson widened the gap in the thrid quarter, extending it's lead to 13-8. Charlie Owens converted a goal out of the 2M, while Seybold and Blyashov put one in from the outside. 

Throughout the fourth, Crimson put together a strong defense, stopping three Navy six-on-five's to keep the 15-8 lead. In a tag-team fashion, Alex Tsotadze fed Blyashov the ball to convert a goal off the sprint. Tsotadze capped off the game with a drawn penalty and converting it into Harvard's final goal. 

During the second competition of the day, Harvard and Fordham countered each other leading to a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter. Tsotadze broke the tie with an exciting bar-in goal from the outside, followed by a Fordham counter attack. Additional goals came from Sechrest, Blyashov and Nick Bunn to put the Crimson up with a slight 6-5 lead.

The second half of the game saw more goal action from majority of the Crimson squad. Opening up the third, the spark plug Austin Sechrest propelled the Crimson forward with a goal followed by a Fordham counter. Freshman Michael Sonsini netted a one on zero for Harvard's fifth goal of the quarter and widened the gap to 11-6. 

The Crimson closed out the Princeton Invitational with four more goals provided by Tsotadze, Sechrest, Bunn and freshman Michael Del Mundo. Fordham's Will Smoot scored with a second left on the clock, but the Rams fell 15-10. 

Harvard Highlights 

  • Blyashov and Sechrest both totaled seven goals on the day. 
  • Nikhil Suri set a season-high 11 saves against Fordham, including a stop out of 2M 
  • The Crimson improves in all-time series to 6-27 with three consecutive wins against Navy
  • Harvard continues the ten game win streak improving the all-time series record against Fordham to 32-14

Up Next 

Harvard looks to the west-coast to par take in the Aggie Classic where they will face No. 3 California and a rematch with host UC Davis.