Late Surge Pushes No. 8 Men’s Water Polo Past No. 14 Princeton, 8-7

Junior Colin Chiapello scored two goals, including the game-tying score in the win over Princeton (Paul Rutherford).

PRINCETON, N.J. – No. 8 Harvard men's water polo stormed back late in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 14 Princeton, 8-7, in Northeast Water Polo Conference action on Saturday. The Crimson saw an early four-goal lead dissipate, leading to some late-game heroics from junior Colin Chiapello and senior Noah Harrison.

After dropping its first contest in nearly a month, Harvard bounced back with a conference victory over Princeton. The Crimson improved to 12-2 overall and are now 2-1 in conference play.

Harvard jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Tigers, dominating all facets of the game early. The Crimson held its opponents scoreless in the first quarter and used goals from seniors Dan Stevens and Joey Colton, freshman Bennie Seybold and Chiapello to separate itself from the hosts early on.

Princeton responded in a big way, as the Tigers recorded three goals in the second period and managed to slow down the Crimson attack to make it 4-3 at the half.

Stevens notched his second score of the game and senior Viktor Wrobel tallied a goal to give Harvard a two-goal cushion (6-4) heading into the fourth quarter.

Harvard struggled early on to contain Princeton and the Tigers roared back to take the lead, 7-6. The Crimson kept its poise and went on the offensive in the final minutes of the game. 

With 2:30 remaining the contest, Chiapello finished in front of the net to tie the contest up at 7-7. Just over a minute later, Harrison took a long outlet pass from sophomore goaltender Anthony Ridgley and snuck it by the Princeton goalie for the game-winning score. With the score, Harrison kept his goal-scoring streak alive, as he has recorded a goal in all 14 games for Harvard this season.

Defensively, Ridgley totaled 11 saves, while also dishing out two assists. Harrison led the way with three field blocks and Wrobel collected two of his own.

The Crimson will return to action when it welcomes Brown and MIT to Blodgett Pool on Saturday, October 8.