PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Colin Woolway (So., Pasadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) recorded eight saves, including five stops in the decisive second half, as No. 17 Harvard University edged Division III No. 8 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8-6, to reach the fifth place game of the 2013 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship at Brown University's Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.
Harvard, which will meet the host Bears of Brown at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, for fifth place in the 12-team tournament, never led in the game until the beginning moments of the fourth quarter as the Crimson were forced to come-from-behind to take down the Engineers.
Trailing 5-3 at halftime, Harvard went to work in climbing back into the game as Noah Harrison (So., Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) lined in a five-meter penalty shot with 5:29 left in the third quarter to move the Crimson within 5-4.
MIT's lead disappeared 50 seconds later when Ben Zepfel (So., Newport Beach, Calif./Coronda del Mar) slipped behind the MIT defense for an even-strength marker with 4:39 on the clock to balance the scoreboard at five-all.
Harvard finally went ahead 44 seconds into the fourth quarter as Harrison cracked a shot past Engineers' goalie Nolan Kruse (Fr., Orcutt, Calif./St. Joseph) with 7:16 to go in regulation to make it 6-5 in favor of the Crimson. Viktor Wrobel (Fr., La Jolla, Calif./The Bishop's School) and Joey Colton (Fr., Garden Grove, Calif./El Toro) cushioned the lead with back-to-back natural tallies at the 6:25 and 2:06 marks, respectively, to give Harvard an 8-5 lead.
The Engineers were unable to shrink the lead below a pair of scores the rest of the way as neither team was able to register a goal until Ory Tasman (So., Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) deposited a shot with 45 seconds left on the clock for the 8-6 final score.
For Harvard, the story of the game was the play of Woolway as the sophomore stopped three shots in the third quarter and a pair of scoring chances in the fourth quarter to account for five of his eight saves. The stops permitted the Crimson to erase MIT's two-score halftime lead and rally down the stretch for the win.
Player of the Game Wrobel led the way on offense for Harvard with a hat-trick, while Harrison and Colton each chipped in pairs of scores to go along with a solo marker by Zepfel.
On the other bench, Zach Churukian (Fr., Menlo Park, Calif./Sacred Heart Prep) and Tasman each registered pairs of goals, while Andrew Dorne (Sr., Irvine, Calif./Sage Hill) and Matthew Orton (So., Los Altos Hills, Calif./Los Altos) tacked on single scores. Kruse took the loss between the pipes for the Engineers as the first-year goalie stopped two shots in suffering the defeat.
Neither team was able to acquire much traction in the early going of the contest until Tasman torqued in a penalty shot with 6:04 left in the first quarter to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead. Harvard tied the game at one-all 50 seconds later via a connection from long range by Colton, but MIT regained the scoring advantage at 2:03 with a rocket by Churukian to make it 2-1.
Following a yellow card to Colton at 1:20, the Crimson pulled even with their crosstown rival thanks to a score by Wrobel as the teams entered the second quarter tied at two-all.
The Engineers regained the lead in the second quarter as Churukian (3:50) put in an even-strength chance and Dorne burie a five-meter penalty shot at 1:52 to make it 4-2. Wrobel chopped the lead back to 4-3 with a rising shot that eluded Kruse at 1:27, but Orton (13 seconds) returned the lead to a pair at 5-3 by the conclusion of the first half to set-up Harvard's second half comeback.
Harvard's fifth place showdown with the host Bears of Brown will mark the fifth meeting of the year between the two teams as the Bears stand at 2-2 against the Crimson (9-8 W, 6-5 L, 12-10 L, 12-9 W).
MIT, which will face George Washington University at 11:40 a.m. on November 24 in the seventh place game, will clash with the Colonials for the first time this year.
|Division III No. 8 Massachusetts Institute of
|No. 17 Harvard University
Viktor Wrobel (3); Noah Harrison (2); Joey Colton (2); Ben
MIT Goals: Zach
Churukian (2); Ory Tasman (2); Andrew Dorne; Matthew
Saves: Harvard - Colin Woolway (8) ; MIT - Nolan Kruse (2)
Exclusions: Harvard - 7 ; MIT - 5
Advantage Opportunities: Harvard - 1-for-5 ; MIT - 2-for-7
Sprints: Harvard - 2-for-4 (1st, 2nd) ; MIT - 2-for-4 (3rd, 4th)
Cards: YC - Harvard (Joey Colton, 1:20 left in 1st)
Officials: Alex Stankevitch, Scott Voltz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Andrew Dorne (No. 7) works against Harvard University's Blake Lee (No. 14)