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PRINCETON, N.J. — Seeing golden goal action for the second time this season, the No. 7-ranked Harvard University men’s water polo team topped No. 12 Princeton University, 13-12, to remain perfect at 3-0 in Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) play.

The Tigers began the game with a strong offense, opening up scoring play with two goals from Wyatt Benson and Alec Mendelsohn. Charlie Owens quickly countered off a six-on-four to put the Crimson on the board. Moving into the second quarter trailing 5-2, Nick Bunn found Alex Tsotadze for his second goal of the day. Princeton recorded success with a three-goal run to exit the half leading Harvard 6-3. 

Grant Harvey found the back of the net for the first goal of the second half. Harvard struggled to break through the Tigers’ defense until Tsotadze and Owens gave life to the Crimson offense. A buzzer beater from Nathan Ondracek brought Harvard within three heading into the fourth 11-8. The Harvard offense rallied back beginning with a two-second play from Anthony Ridgley to Owens before Ondracek put together two-goals, forcing overtime. 

In the first overtime, Ondracek gave the Crimson its first lead of the game, but the Tigers’ Mednelsohn tied up at 12 in the required second overtime period. Both teams moved to golden goal with Harvard winning the sprint and called a timeout to draw up the winning play. Princeton native, senior Bunn notched the winning shot putting the Crimson up 13-12 over the Tigers. 

Tsotadze finished with three goals on the day for Harvard, including the tying goal with just a minute left in regulation, which forced overtime.   Ondracek and Owens also collected three goals on the day, while Bunn put together two scores, including the game-winning golden goal. 

Release courtesy Harvard University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association