LOS ANGELES, Calif. – No. 12-ranked/Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Champion Harvard University fell to No. 1/Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Champion the University of Southern California, 16-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Water Polo Championship at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
At the end of the first quarter, Harvard trailed the Trojans, 5-0. Freshman Dennis Blyashov got the Crimson on the board in the second quarter, netting a goal less than two minutes into the quarter. Sophomore Austin Sechrest followed up with a goal of his own, bringing the Crimson back into the action. Senior captain Colin Chiapello found the back of the net late in the second quarter, bringing the score to 9-3 in favor of the Trojans. At the end of the first half, USC controlled the lead, 10-3.
In the third quarter, Chiapello netted his second goal of the night off a great pass from Blyashov. As time expired on the third quarter, Harvard trailed USC, 12-4. The Trojans added four more goals in the fourth quarter to claim a 16-4 victory.
For the Crimson, Chiapello led the way with two goals, while goalkeeper Anthony Ridgley made five saves prior prior to Nikhil Suri coming on to record seven.
Harvard, which was making its second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, moves to 0-3 all-time against the Trojans. Further, 2017 marks the fourth season with more than 20 victories for the Crimson as the team concluded the year with 24.
Senior captains Harry Tafur and Chiapello make up the winningest class in Harvard men’s water polo history. In the pair’s four years with the Crimson, the class of 2018 collected 94 victories, six more than the previous record of 88 set by the class of 2017.
Release courtesy Harvard University Athletics Communications