Men's Water Polo Heads to Northern Championships
First-year head coach Ted Minnis has lead the Crimson to 10 wins in 2010, the program's most since 2007 (Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's water polo team's travels across town to MIT this weekend to take part in the 2010 Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division Championship, the first step toward the Eastern Championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Watch From Home
MIT will provide access to live video stream of all 12 games from the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center via its partnership with B2Networks.com. In addition to an $8 per-game viewing option, MIT is offering a $20 tournament pass which provides access to every game.
9 a.m. Game 1 No. 1 St. Francis (N.Y.) vs. No. 8 Connecticut College
10:30 a.m. Game 2 No. 4 Fordham vs. No. 5 Harvard
Noon Game 3 No. 2 Brown vs. No. 7 Iona
1:30 p.m. Game 4 No. 3 MIT vs. No. 6 Queens (N.Y.)
4 p.m. Game 5 Loser of Game 2 vs. Loser of Game 1
5:30 p.m. Game 6 Loser of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3
7 p.m. Game 7 Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
8:30 p.m. Game 8 Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
10 a.m. 7th Place Loser of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 5
11:30 a.m. 5th Place Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6
1 p.m. 3rd Place Loser of Game 8 vs. Loser of Game 7
2:30 p.m. 1st Place Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8
The Crimson (10-15, 2-5 CWPA) finished third at last week's Ivy Championship, the first time all eight Ivy League schools met for a championship in men's water polo. Harvard went 2-1 in the tournament with wins over Cornell and Yale. The Crimson has won four of its last six games and will look to better its fifth-place finish at last year's Northern Championship, which was one place better than 2008.
The team is led in scoring by its three seniors, Jeff Lee, Alex Thompson and co-captain Bret Voith, who have notched 34, 32 and 29 goals, respectively. Voith leads the team in assists with 25, and Thompson is the team's defensive catalyst with 39 steals on the year. Junior goalie Alexandre Popp has made a career-high 208 saves this season.
The Rest of the Field
No. 14 St. Francis (N.Y.)
The Terriers (18-3, 7-0 CWPA) have won six straight games and claimed the top seed heading into the tournament. St. Francis went undefeated through the regular season against CWPA opponents with a 7-0 Northern Division record and claimed first place at the Northern Championships five times from 2004-08.
The Terriers defeated Harvard twice this season and leads the all-time series 23-6, winning 13 in a row dating back to 2003.
The Bears (15-10, 6-1 CWPA) finished second at last week's Ivy Championship, falling to No. 18 Princeton in the final. Heading into last week, the Bears were led in scoring by sophomore Svetozar Stefanovic (46 goals). Senior Brandon Yoshimura led the team with 26 assists, and freshman James McNamara had 22 steals to lead the defense.
Brown has also defeated Harvard twice this season, grabbing a 12-9 win at Blodgett Pool Oct. 14 and winning 15-7 in the second round of last week's Ivy Championships. The Bears lead the all-time series, 74-20, and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings dating back to 2005.
The Engineers (11-8, 5-2 CWPA) lost to Brown Oct. 28 in their final regular-season game of the year to close out CWPA with a 5-2 record and grab the No. 3 seed at the Northern Championships. MIT's leading scorer is freshman Craig Cheney with 36 goals in 2010. Cheney also leads the team in takeaways with 29, while junior goalie Columbus Leonard has made 126 saves minding the cage.
Harvard and MIT have clashed three times in 2010, with the Engineers taking the edge in this season's series, 2-1. MIT won 10-6 on Oct. 22 and edged the Crimson, 7-6, in the first round of the ECAC Championships Sept. 17. Harvard got its taste of victory over the Engineers on Oct. 2 in a 10-8 win at Blodgett Pool. The Crimson leads the all-time series against MIT by a wide margin, 73-18. However, the Engineers have won four of the last six meetings to close that gap slightly.
Fordham (14-13, 4-3 CWPA) has won three straight and four of its last five heading into the Northern Championships as the fourth seed. The Rams' Ryan Hultman was named Northern Division Offensive Player of the Week Wednesday after netting a game-high six goals to go with three assists and a block on Oct. 27, leading the Rams to a 13-11 win against Iona.
Fordham defeated the Crimson in their only meeting this season, 13-5, on Sept. 25. Harvard leads the all-time series against the Rams, 23-12, but has lost six in a row to them dating back to 2008.
The Knights (8-9, 2-5 CWPA) fell to No. 13 St. Francis Tuesday in their final regular season game of the season, which gave them the No. 6 seed out of a three-way tie for fifth with Harvard and Iona. Queens wrapped up the 2010 Division II Eastern Championship on Oct. 23 after wins over Salem and Mercyhurst.
The all-time series between Queens and Harvard is an even split at 15-15 dating back to 1981, but it has certainly been one-sided as of late. Harvard beat the Knights earlier this season, 15-11, in New York, and has won nine straight in the series.
The Gaels (5-17, 2-5 CWPA) won consecutive games at the CWPA North-South Crossover Oct. 24 before falling to Fordham, 13-11, on Oct. 27 to close out the regular season. Senior Seth Tasman leads the team in scoring with 31 goals and 10 assists. Junior Cameron Hudson is the team's leader in steals with 17.
Iona emerged victorious in its only meeting with Harvard this season, a four-overtime, sudden-death, 11-10 win at Blodgett Pool. The Crimson leads the all-time series, 25-16, but the Gaels have now won four straight matchups.
The Camels (4-10, 0-7 CWPA) went 2-1 at the Division III Eastern Championship Oct. 23-24, but have struggled this season in CWPA play. In seven conference games, the Camels have been outscored by a 136-34 margin.
Harvard put up 20 goals against Connecticut College for the fourth time in six games since 2008 in winning the teams' lone meeting this season on Oct. 17. Harvard has never lost to the Camels, leading the all-time series, 15-0.
What comes next for the Crimson will depend on how it does at this weekend's Northern Championship. A finish in the top two would earn Harvard a berth in the CWPA Eastern Championship Nov. 19-21. A loss in its first game Saturday against Fordham would land the Crimson in the consolation bracket to play out the end of its 2010 campaign.
Head coach Ted Minnis and junior Kevin DiSilvestro sit down to talk about the Harvard men's water polo team's upcoming trip across town to MIT to take part in the 2010 CWPA Northern Division Championship, the first step towards the Eastern Championship and the NCAA Tournament.