November 17, 2012

No. 14 Men's Water Polo Defeats Harvard, 16-11, in CWPA Eastern Championship

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Henry Fox (So., Mercer Island, Wash./Lakeside School) of No. 14 Brown University fired in six goals to help the Bears overwhelm Harvard University, 16-11, to reach the fifth place game of the 2012 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship at Princeton University's DeNunzio Pool.

The victory places the Bears into the fifth place contest at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 18 against the victor of a second round game between the Division III No. 6-ranked Engineers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the No. 17 Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy.

A Navy-Brown clash will mark the first time the two powerhouse institutions have met this season, while the Bears have defeated Northern Division co-inhabitant MIT three times this season (13-1 W, 12-9 W, 17-8 W).

Harvard will clash with the fallen from the MIT-Navy game at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday in the seventh place game. The Crimson are 1-2 against the Engineers (19-7 L, 13-12 W, 15-14 OT SD L) and have not met the Midshipmen to date in 2012.

The Crimson came out of the gates fast against the Bears in building a 5-4 lead in the first quarter before Brown's defense kept Harvard in check enough to overcome Harvard the rest of the way.

Brown jumped on the scoreboard first as four-time Northern Division Player of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Svetozar Stefanovic (Sr., Belgrade, Serbia/Russian Embassy) light-up the scoreboard with a blast 47 seconds into the contest to put the Bears in front 1-0.

Harvard answered the tally with a flurry of three consecutive scoring blows as Ben Zepfel (Fr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar)connected on a man-up shot at 6:57, Blake Lee (Fr., San Diego, Calif./The Bishop's School) swished a natural marker at 5:28 and Zepfel unleashed a goal at 4:54 to make it 3-1 in favor of the Crimson.

Fox hacked the lead down to a single strike at 4:06 as he uncorked a spiraling five-meter penalty shot that eluded Harvard goalie Jimmy Field (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School), but Robbie Fluegge (Fr., Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) retorted the tally by finding the back of the cage with a scoring shot on a man-up chance at 2:34 to return the lead to a pair at 4-2.

Fox refused to all the Bears to be hounded into a loss as he drilled consecutive scores at 2:03 and 1:15 to knot that score at four-all. Following a misconduct for violence by Cyrus Mojdehi (Sr., La Jolla, Calif./The Bishop's School) with 40 seconds left in the quarter, the Crimson struck to go ahead as Zepfel zinged Brown with another man-up score with 20 seconds on the clock to make it 5-4.

The score appeared to incite the Bears' offense as James McNamara (Jr., Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) netted a man-up goal (7:04) to start the comeback and tie the score at 5-5.

The Bears lost another player for the game and the tournament as Ryan Gladych (Sr., Corona del Mar, Calif./Deerfield Academy)took a red card, but it did not stop the Bears' scoring barrage.

McNamara struck twice at 6:23 and 5:30 to sandwich a blast by Stefanovic at 5:51 to construct an 8-5 Brown lead which withstood strikes by Noah Harrison (Fr., Hungtington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) and Zepfel at 1:57 and 58 seconds, respectively, to keep the Bears in front 8-7 at intermission.

The margin exploded out to five goals in the infant moments of the third quarter as Fox converted on man-up (6:35) and even-strength (4:24) chances before Stefanovic (2:48) and Fox (2:00) added to the onslaught to cap off a 4-0 run to open the period.

Harvard attempted to close the chasm with a natural goal from Harrison (1:19) and a five-meter penalty shot by Zepfel (30 seconds) prior to the close of the quarter have a chance at rallying back for a win or to force overtime.

However, the duo of Will Klein (Fr., Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena) and Stefanovic dashed the dreams of the Crimson by drilling shots at 4:47 and 2:49, respectively, to make the Crimson's deficit five at 14-9 with the clock and the Brown defense standing between Harvard and a dramatic comeback.

Harrison attempted to ignite one final rally for the Cambridge boys with a man-up marker at 2:27, but Nick Deaver (So., Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) hung another man-up score on the Bears' side of the scoreboard at 1:35 to return the lead to five at 15-10.

The squads traded goals to the final horn with Harrison (1:21) and Dean Serure (Sr., Coral Gables, Fla./Ransom Everglades) (42 seconds) each finding the cage for the 16-11 final score.

It marked the third and closest meeting between the two Northern Division rivals as Brown had previously knocked off Harvard 23-9 and 19-5 in the two programs' previous meetings this year.

Between the pipes, Walker Shockley (Jr., Diamond Bar, Calif./Damien) stopped nine shots in earning the victory, while back-up netminder Andrew Brown (So., La Grange, Ill./Lyons Township) closed out the final moments of the contest with no saves. For Harvard, Field stopped eight shots in taking the loss.

 

 

----Courtesy of the CWPA