Head coach Ted Minnis earned his 100th victory to become the all-time leader in wins for the Harvard men's water polo program (Gil Talbot).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Harvard men's water polo team defeated two nationally-ranked opponents and The Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach Ted Minnis became the winningest coach in Crimson men's water polo history on the opening day of the Bruno Classic. Harvard took down No. 16 Johns Hopkins, 18-14, and No. 10 UC Davis by a score of 13-12, before falling to No. 4 Pacific, 15-4.
Minnis made his way to the top of the Crimson record books with his 100th career win in his seventh season at the helm of Harvard water polo, passing Chris Hafferty's mark of 99 career victories (1985-1990). Minnis is also the career leader for the Harvard women's water polo program with 111 total wins.
Seniors Noah Harrison and Joey Colton helped lead the Harvard offense with 11 points over the three games, each. Harrison totaled eight goals and three assists, while Colton scored three goals and collected eight assists.
The Crimson took down No. 16 Johns Hopkins in the opener, leading wire-to-wire and building a steady lead throughout the contest. Nine different Crimson scored, led by a career-high four goals from junior Colin Chiapello. Harrison and freshman Bennie Seybold both totaled a hat trick, while senior Dan Stevens and sophomore Nick Bunn had two goals, each.
Freshmen Charlie Owens and Austin Sechrest gave Harvard an early boost after scoring back-to-back goals to end the first quarter. The Crimson outscored their opponents in each of the first three quarters, holding a 15-9 advantage heading into the final frame. Chiapello found the back of the net twice in the fourth, helping to secure the 18-14 victory.
Colton paced the offense with five assists and junior Harry Tafur tallied three helpers for the Crimson. Sechrest and Harrison led the defensive efforts with three steals apiece.
The Crimson received solid play in net from the tandem of sophomore Anthony Ridgley and freshman Nikhil Suri. Ridgley recorded four saves and added five assists of his own, while Suri collected his first save in a Harvard uniform between the pipes.
In game two against UC Davis, the Crimson was led by Harrison and Colton. The seniors scored all five goals in the second quarter to give Harvard a 9-5 lead at the half. Harrison finished with four goals and Colton added a trio to along with a team-high three assists.
UC Davis tied the game (9-9) after scoring four unanswered goals in the third quarter. The Crimson responded in the final frame with clutch scores from Tafur and Chiapello before Harrison tallied his fourth goal to preserve the 13-12 win.
Tafur and Chiapello both finished with two goals, while Stevens and sophomore Nathan Ondracek recorded a goal and an assist, each.
Defensively, Ridgley collected eight stops in goal for the Crimson and Sechrest once again led Harvard with two steals.
In the night cap against Pacific, Harvard locked down on the defensive end early, holding the Tigers scoreless after the first quarter.
Harrison scored for the third consecutive game to give the Crimson a 1-0 advantage. Harvard outshot their opponents 9-8 in the opening frame.
Pacific struck quickly in the second quarter, scoring twice in less than a minute to retake the lead. The Tigers added another goal before Ondrasek cut the deficit back to one (3-2) for the Crimson. The remainder of the quarter belonged to Pacific, and the Crimson trailed 7-2 at the intermission.
The Tigers built on their lead throughout the half as they managed to contain the Harvard attack. Senior Viktor Wrobel and Owens found the back of the net in the third quarter, but the Crimson was held scoreless in the final frame.
Suri got his first career start in net for Harvard, recording 13 saves against the Tigers.
The Crimson will be back in action on day two of the Bruno Classic tomorrow against Wagner at 1:40 p.m.