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IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Men’s Water Polo Travels to MIT for Midweek Matchup

Harrison leads the Harvard offense with 35 goals (Photo Courtsey: Gil Talbot). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division play continues as the No. 17 Harvard men's water polo team takes on cross-town rival MIT Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. 

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Last Time Out  
Harvard and Brown met for the third time this season Friday night and the Crimson downed Brown, 12-10.  This is the first time the Crimson has defeated the Bears more than once in a season since 2004. Harvard is now 9-8 overall and 7-1 in conference play.

Joey Colton, Noah Harrison and Ben Zepfel netted three goals apiece. Colton added four assists and two steals to his trifecta of goals, while Harrison also contributed three helpers. Robbie Fluegge, Viktor Wrobel, Evan Ramsey and Dan Stevens each added a score to secure the win. Colin Woolway anchored the defense with eight saves in goal and Blake Lee recorded a game-high three steals.

Related Link: Men's Water Polo Takes Care of Brown, 12-10

National Ranking
Harvard currently sits at No. 17 in the CWPA national rankings. The Crimson, which hasn't been ranked since the 2002 season, first breached the poll during the week of Oct. 2, landing in a tie for 19th. The best rank in program history was 15th during the week of Oct. 9, 2002.

Defense Wins Championships
During Harvard's current six-game win streak, the Crimson has outscored opponents, 77-44, and allowed an average of 8.5 goals per game during the span. Defense has been the key during the stretch, as the team has recorded 75 steals, an average of 13.5 per game, and 45 saves, an average of 8.5 per game. 

Underclassmen Leading the Way
Harvard's underclassmen have been a vital part of the team's success in 2013. The group has accounted for 86.3 percent of goals (163/189), 91.8 percent of assists (113/123), 83.5 percent of steals (168/201) and 78.1 percent of saves (107/137). Sophomore Noah Harrison paces the offense with 35 goals, while classmate Ben Zepfel has contributed 27 goals and Wrobel has added 24. Lee is ranked first with 28 assists followed by Colton (27 assists) and Harrison (21 assists).

Racking Up the Awards
The Crimson has won seven CWPA weekly awards this season and had eight players on the weekly honor roll. Colin Woolway leads the way with three individual honors, winning Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 16, Sept. 23 and Sept. 30. Noah Harrison has been tabbed Player of the Week twice (Sept. 23 and Sept. 30). Colton and Wrobel have each picked up Rookie of the Week accolades. Colton won the award Sept. 9 and Wrobel brought the honor to Cambridge Sept. 30.

Related Link: Harvard Men's Water Polo Sweeps CWPA Weekly Awards

All-Time Against MIT
In a series that began in 1980, Harvard holds a 77-21 advantage over MIT. The two programs last met at Blodgett Pool Sept. 29 when the Crimson edged the Engineers, 13-10. This is the second time the two teams have met in this season.

Scouting MIT (6-9, 6-5 CWPA North)
MIT enters the match riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Brown, 15-13, and Connecticut College, 14-6, in a pair of CWPA Northern Division contests. The Engineers have eight different athletes that have tallied double figures in scoring this season. A trio of Engineers lead the squad in goals and steals. Ory Tasman's 30 goals rank first and his 25 steals are good for second. Craig Cheney reverses roles with Tasman as the senior's 27 steals leads the team and 23 goals sit second. Kale Rogers rounds out the threesome with 20 goals and 14 assists. Freshman Nolan Kruse has recorded 76 saves through 12 games.

Up Next
Harvard travels to Philadelphia this weekend to compete in the Ivy League Championships at Penn.