Second Half Surges Lead No. 10 Men’s Water to a Pair of Wins Saturday

Austin Sechrest had three goals in the second half against George Washington (Athletic Communications).
Austin Sechrest had three goals in the second half against George Washington (Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 10 Harvard men's water polo team scored 10 goals in the second half of each of its games Saturday at the Princeton Invite, leading to wins over No. 17 George Washington and Chapman. The Crimson defeated the Colonials, 14-8, and then capped the day with a 17-10 triumph over Chapman.

Freshman Dennis Blyashov, the reigning Northeast Water Polo Conference Rookie of the Week, had another standout performance against Chapman, netting five goals. Junior Nick Bunn also had a hat trick against the Panthers, while senior Colin Chiapello and Austin Sechrest had three goals apiece against George Washington.

No. 10 Harvard 14, No. 17 George Washington 8

No. 17 George Washington hung with No. 10 Harvard for the first two quarters of the Crimson's opening contest of the Princeton Invitational, but a 10-goal second half led to a 14-8 victory for the team from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Colonials and Crimson went to the halftime break even at 4-4, but Sechrest led a strong back half, leading the Crimson offense in the latter two quarters with a trio of goals.

Harvard Highlights:

  • Junior Nathan Ondracek had three steals in the fourth quarter, each of which the Crimson turned into goals.
  • Bruno Snow and Jackson Enright matched Ondracek with three steals as well.
  • Junior Anthony Ridgley was solid in goal once again for the Crimson, turning away 11 George Washington shots.
  • Chiapello matched Sechrest with a hat trick of his own.

Game Notes:

  • Harvard now holds a 13-7 lead in the all-time series versus George Washington. 

Harvard 17, Chapman 10

Harvard burst out of the gate with six goals in the opening period to take a 6-4 lead, but the offense slowed in the second quarter and Chapman closed the gap to 7-6 before the halftime intermission.

The Crimson regrouped and tacked on five more goals in the third quarter, while the defense clamped down and allowed only one tally. Five more goals followed in the fourth quarter to bring the tally to 17 for the Crimson.

Harvard Highlights:

  • Blyashov's five goals against Chapman gave him seven on the day. The rookie now has 12 goals through the first six games of his career.
  • Sophomore Nikhil Suri registered 11 saves in goal for the Crimson.
  • Ondracek and Snow each had three assists.

Game Notes:

  • Harvard is now 2-2 against Chapman, winning the first meeting since 2009 against the Panthers. 

What's Next:
Harvard continues action Sunday at the Princeton Invite, taking on No. 16 Bucknell at 10 a.m.