Men's Water Polo Rivals Battle for Third Time in 2010

Men's Water Polo Rivals Battle for Third Time in 2010

Friday's showdown will be the third clash this season between the Crimson and Engineers (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's water polo team heads across town Friday to rival MIT for the third meeting between the two teams in 2010, this time in a Collegiate Water Polo Association game beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at MIT.

Watch From Home
Fans will have an opportunity to watch the action live Friday night when Harvard enters the pool to take on MIT. The game will be available on the web through the Engineers' America One multimedia channel.

Double-Digit Scoring
Harvard has put up more than 10 goals on the scoreboard in its last six wins going back to Sept. 19, including notching 20 or more on two occasions in that streak: a 20-10 victory Sunday at Connecticut College and a 21-2 drubbing of Caltech on Oct. 9 in the Claremont Convergence Tournament in California.

A Rivalry Closer Than Just Distance
Since 2003, 16 of the last 18 games between Cambridge rivals MIT and Harvard have been decided by three goals or fewer. The Crimson is 6-10 in those 16 games, but hold a 5-3 edge in the last eight such decisions dating back to 2006. 

Comeback Kings
Harvard fell behind by five goals after the first quarter Saturday against Queens (N.Y.) but came storming back for a 15-11 win. It was their third come-from-behind victory of the year, joining a 9-8 win over George Washington Sept. 12 and a 10-8 defeating of MIT Oct. 2.

About Harvard
Harvard (8-13, 2-4 CWPA) had a successful conference road trip this past weekend, going 2-1 with wins over Queens (N.Y.) and Connecticut College while falling at No. 15 St. Francis (N.Y.), 23-7. Junior Alex Thompson totaled eight goals, two assists and four steals over the weekend and senior Jeff Lee chipped in five scores, eight helpers and two takeaways to lead the Crimson. 

About MIT
The Engineers (7-6, 4-2 CWPA) matched Harvard's road trip last weekend, going 2-1 with wins over Queens (N.Y.) and Connecticut College before suffering a loss at No. 15 St. Francis. MIT players Columbus Leonard and Craig Cheney earned Player of the Week honors from the CWPA Wednesday. Leonard was named the CWPA Northern Division Defensive Player of the Week while Cheney was tabbed as Rookie of the Week.

Series History
Harvard leads the all-time series against the Engineers in dominating fashion, 73-17, but MIT has won three of the last five meetings dating back to 2008, including a 7-6 win earlier this season. Harvard won the 90th meeting between the two teams on Oct. 2, 10-8. The Crimson holds the longest winning streak in the series at 45 games from 1982-97.

Players of the Week
Two Harvard players have earned CWPA Player of the Week nods this season, with seniors Alex Thompson and co-captain Bret Voith getting recognized.

Thompson was named the CWPA Northern Division Player of the Week for Sept. 7 after leading the Crimson in scoring for two of its three games at the MIT Invitational. Thompson scored seven goals, notched an assist and had eight steals over the two-day tournament, including four goals in a 12-8 victory over Cal Lutheran.

Voith was chosen as CWPA Northern Division Player of the Week for Oct. 13 after he scored multiple goals in three of Harvard's five games in California, including three goals and three assists against No. 18 Pomona-Pitzer in the Sagehens' home pool. He notched three takeaways in Harvard's 12-8 win over Occidental College and had two goals in Harvard's 12-8 against Occidental and the Crimson's 21-2 win against Caltech. Voith was also named Harvard's COOP Athlete of the Week for Sept. 14.

Up Next
By wrapping up its CWPA regular season schedule with Friday's game at MIT, the Crimson will look toward the Ivy League Championship, which will be the first time varsity and collegiate club teams clash in a common tournament for a title. Comprised of the varsity teams from Harvard, Princeton and Brown, in addition to the club programs from Penn, Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth and Cornell, the championship will occur on Oct. 30-31 at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool.