The men's team looks to remain undefeated at Blodgett Pool with three conference games this weekend (Photo Courtsey: Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE Mass. – The No. 18 men's water polo team welcomes Collegiate Water Polo Association foes No. 16 St. Francis, Iona and Fordham to Blodgett Pool this weekend for its final three conference games of the regular season.
Last Time Out
The Crimson (13-11) traveled to California for five games in three days against some of the nation's top competition. Harvard hung with No. 10 Concordia before narrowly falling to the Eagles, 9-8. On Saturday, the Crimson fell to No. 16 host Santa Clara, 12-9, before garnering its first win of the weekend defeating No. 17 Cal Baptist, 11-10. Harvard took to the pool on the final day and knocked off No. 11 UC Davis, 14-11, and Fresno Pacific, 7-6.
There's No Place Like Home
The Crimson enters the weekend with a perfect 3-0 record at Blodgett Pool this season. Harvard reeled off three straight wins against Connecticut College, Brown and MIT. Under head coach Ted Minnis, Harvard owns a 14-13 record at its home venue.
Salute to Seniors
Class of 2014 members and team captains Jimmy Field and Will Roller will be honored prior to Sunday's game against Fordham after making their senior campaign one to remember. The duo helped Harvard, which hasn't been ranked since the 2002 season, first breach the CWPA national poll to land at tied at No. 19 before moving up to the 17th spot. Overall, Field and roller have been a part of 50 wins, the team's first third place finish in the Northern Division and the first trip to the Eastern Championships since 2007.
Due to several home events on Saturday, Nov. 2, fans traveling to Harvard home events are advised to allow additional time to arrive. Parking will be $20 for fans until 5:30 p.m., when the cost will switch to $10 per vehicle for the remainder of the day. More information on directions to the Harvard Athletics Complex is available here.
Young is Served
Harvard's underclassmen have been a vital part of the team's success in 2013. The group has accounted for 85.6 percent of goals (239/279), 89.5 percent of assists (188/210), 82.9 percent of steals (239/288) and 80.5 percent of saves (170/211).Noah Harrison leads the attack with 54 goals, while Joey Colton has contributed 38 goals and Ben Zepfel has buried 36 goals. Colton is ranked first in assists with 44 followed by Blake Lee (35) and Harrison (23). Harrison (54), Dan Stevens (40) and Robbie Fluegge are the team leaders for steals.
Take Your Hats Off
Harvard has notched 33 hat tricks this season with Harrison contributing nine while Colton and Wrobel both have five and Zepfel has four.
Racking Up the Awards
The Crimson has won 11 CWPA weekly awards this season and had 16 players on the weekly honor roll. Woolway leads the way with four individual honors, winning Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 14. Harrison has been tabbed Player of the Week three times (Sept. 23, Sept. 30, and Oct. 14). Colton and Wrobel have each picked up Rookie of the Week accolades. Colton won the award Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28. Wrobel brought the honor to Cambridge Sept. 30.
Harvard currently sits at No. 18 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, and has remained in the rankings for four consecutive weeks. The best rank in program history was 15th during the week of Oct. 9, 2002.
For the second time this season, the Crimson will face off against St. Francis, Iona and Fordham. Despite trailing, 7-27 all-times, Harvard handed St. Francis its first loss in 11 years at its home venue Sept. 22. The Crimson holds the advantage, 29-18 all-time against Iona, but Harvard could not secure the win Sept. 21, and ultimately fell, 18-16 in overtime. Harvard leads Fordham, 27-14 all-time, and handily defeated the Rams, 15-5 Sept. 21.
Scouting No. 16 St. Francis
The St. Francis enters the weekend with a 14-7 overall record. The Terriers buried eight unanswered goals in the second half to cruise past Fordham, 11-5. St. Francis is led by Vuk Vujosevic, Bosko Stankovic and Ilija Djuretic. The trio has accounted for 99 of the team's 202 goals. In net, Igor Mladenovic has registered 118 saves.
The Gaels carry a 4-21 overall record into the weekend after most recently, dropping a, 14-7, decision to St. Francis Brooklyn Wednesday in a midweek CWPA North conference match up. The Gaels are led by Jake Lloyd who has 54 goals and 12 assists, while Matthew Stelnicki (24 goals, 17 assists) and Zack Presto (24 goals, 10 assists) round out the trio of offensive forces.
The Rams own an 11-13 record and are looking to snap a six-game losing streak. Fordham fell to No. 16 St. Francis, 11-5 Thursday. Nicholas Allen netted three goals, while R.J. Simmons had a pair. In net, Noah LeBeau had ten saves.
The Crimson will host the CWPA Northern Championships at Blodgett Pool next weekend.