CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard University sophomore Dan Stevens (Newport Beach, Calif.) halted MIT's late fourth quarter rally with his only goal of the contest with 33 seconds remaining as the Crimson defeated the Engineers, 12-10, in Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division play on Wednesday evening. With the win, Harvard improves to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in conference play, while MIT falls to 8-10 and 3-4.
MIT and Harvard swapped leads throughout the opening quarters before the Crimson pushed ahead, 8-7, at the break. Tech trailed Harvard, 8-6, with 4:32 remaining in the second, but trimmed the deficit with a goal by senior Jack Clark (Laguna Beach, Calif.), who whipped a shot from the top of the zone that landed in the nearside corner. MIT tried to score once more before the break, but neither junior Ory Tasman (Orlando, Fla.) nor sophomore Patrick Everett (Ann Arbor, Mich.) could locate the back of their opponent's cage.
Junior Zach Nelson (La Jolla, Calif.) evened the score at 2:09 in the third when he bounced a shot into the Harvard net from the far side following a pass from sophomore Zach Churukian (Menlo Park, Calif.). Harvard countered with a five-meter shot by junior Blake Lee (San Diego, Calif.) with 57 seconds remaining in the frame before the Engineers responded with freshman Kyle Archer (Clovis, Calif.), who flung a shot from the near side with 12 seconds left.
Harvard junior Ben Zepfel (Newport Beach, Calif.) helped the visitors push ahead with back-to-back goals at 6:38 and 2:50 in the fourth before MIT called a timeout with 1:34 remaining. Junior Matthew Orton (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) recorded his only goal shortly after his team's timeout as he raced down the middle and deposited Tech's 10th goal with 59 seconds remaining. Harvard dashed MIT's comeback on the ensuing possession when Stevens ripped a shot from the nearside that sailed into the Engineers' cage.
MIT will return to action on Saturday, October 18 when they travel to Washington, Pennsylvania for the Division III Eastern Championships at Washington and Jefferson College. Tech, which earned the second seed in the tournament, will face Monmouth College at 11:20 a.m. and Washington Jefferson at 4:40 p.m. Harvard will also be competing on Saturday, as they travel to Brown University for a 9:30 a.m. start.