Will Roller scored a career-high five goals to lead Harvard past Penn at the Ivy Championships (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The first period was the difference as the Harvard men's water polo team stormed out of the gates and knocked off Penn, 21-15, in the opening round of the Ivy League tournament at Yale.
The third-seeded Crimson outscored the Quakers 7-1 in the beginning frame to cruise to its 13th victory of the season and advance to the semifinals of the Ancient Eight championships against No. 2 Brown.
Will Roller led the way for Harvard with a career-high five goals, while Robbie Fluegge also chipped in a new personal best with four goals. Freshmen Ben Zepfel and Blake both recorded hat tricks, and sophomores John Holland-McCowan and Max Murphy each delivered two goals. Thomas McNulty and Nathan Clement had single tallies to round of the scoring.
After breaking the game open in the first eight minutes, Harvard offered Penn a glimmer of hope as the Quakers won the second, 4-2; however, that hope was quickly squashed as the Crimson poured in seven more goals in the third frame to push the lead back to five.
In the final eight minutes, Harvard outscored Penn by one again, 5-4, to lock up the win.
The Crimson returns to action Sunday at 10 a.m. against the Bears in the semifinals.