Sports Briefs: 10.19.18

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By JASPER FU

Staying Comfortably Afloat

Harvard Men’s Water Polo hosted the Harvard Invite this weekend at Cambridge, picking up two out of its three games. At Harvard’s own Blodgett Pool, the initially 13-4 and 10th ranked Crimson team first faced off against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at the kickoff of the event. Led by junior Austin Sechrest, scoring the first goal, followed shortly by junior Charlie Owens, Harvard took a 2 – 0 lead. Although the Stags managed to pull out a further three points, Harvard scored five more, including a second from Sechrest followed by shots from Bruno Snow, Jackson Enright, Grant Harvey, and Nick Bunn, as well as a penalty shot from Dennis Blyashov, to hold their lead and then some, ending the first half with a 7 – 3 lead. By the night’s end, Harvard had maintained its lead with a 12 – 8 victory, with 3 of those goals scored by freshman Alex Tsotadze.

The second game of the invite saw an incredibly close loss against the 17th ranked team Bucknell, with a 17 – 16 victory for Bucknell against the Crimson team. After the first quarter, Bucknell had led six to five, and despite a valiant Harvard effort the Crimson found itself unable to close the gap. The fourth quarter began with a 13 – 11 Bucknell lead, and the two teams traded back and forth goals to end with a 17-16 Bucknell victory.

Harvard ended the invite with a similarly hard-fought bout, in a 13 – 12 victory against No. 20 ranked Wagner. The entire game was neck and neck, until, with 35 seconds remaining in the last frame, senior Nick Bunn scored the tiebreaking shot to give Harvard its 3rd victory of the invite, and 15th in the season. The Crimson finished the weekend with a 15 – 5 overall record.

 

Third Consecutive win for Harvard Women’s Rugby Team!

Despite the chill and rain on Saturday, the Harvard Women’s rugby team picked up its third consecutive home win against Notre Dame. Harvard’s two year old Roberto A. Mignone Field, unveiled in September 2016 as redeveloped to fulfil World Rugby field certification standards, saw the Harvard Crimson women’s rugby team (4 -1) continue their undefeated home victory streak with a commanding 43 – 12 victory against the Notre Dame Falcons (2 – 2). The Crimson, with a 4 – 1 overall record, their only loss being a 13 – 55 away game at Dartmouth, dominated the field, scoring three uncontested kicks to pull out an early 21 – 0 lead that would prove impossible for the Falcons to overcome. Notre Dame managed to score five points at the end of the first half, but the strength of the Crimson defense proved enough to prevent any other attempts at scoring by the Falcons as they built up a 35 – 5 lead just ten minutes into the second half. Though a last minute try on Notre Dame’s part scored them seven more points, it wasn’t enough to stop the Crimson from closing the game with a confident lead.

The Crimson is undefeated at home this season, after a 24 – 21 victory against Quinnipiac and a 28 – 17 victory against Army West Point, and this game marks both their largest win and their first match against Notre Dame in the program’s history. Their next game will also be a home game, against Brown, in Mignone Field, as the last regular season game before Ivy Championships and National Intercollegiate Rugby Association playoffs.

 

Mad for Basketball

This past Saturday, on October 13th, Harvard Basketball’s eighth Crimson Madness kicked off. For the first time its almost decade-long history, the annual event saw Lavietes Pavilion hosting women’s basketball alongside the men’s team. After coach and player introductions, the festivities began with a dunk contest featuring Weisner Perez, Rio Haskett, Robert Baker, and Kale Catchings, and was ultimately won by Baker, a junior, as champion. The three-point shootout saw team captain Sydney Skinner win the women’s title, and junior Christian Juzang win the men’s, with 23 points between them. It was followed shortly by a knockout contest between fans and athletes, with a fan as the last player standing, narrowly edging out junior forward Henry Welsh to emerge victorious.

The men’s team ended the event with an intra-squad scrimmage, with Crimson and White teams facing off. Shootout champion Juzang sunk the game-tying buzzerbeater to end the game at 41 – 41, tying it for the Crimson team.

The women’s team will begin their season against defending national champions Notre Dame, at an away game at Joyce Center, South Bend, on the 9th.  The men’s team has been picked to defend their championship title in the Ivy League in the preseason media poll, with 12 out of the 18 first place votes and 137 total points going to Harvard, beating out Penn, with 5 first place votes and 122 points overall, and Yale, with the last vote for first and 115 total points. Looking like the strongest contender for the Ivy League title this year, the Crimson team will be hosting MIT on the 6th and Northeastern on the 9th in two home games.

 

Jasper Fu ([email protected]) is feeling energized after an exciting weekend of Harvard Sports.