Men's Water Polo
The Harvard men’s water polo team rode a five-game winning streak to Princeton, N.J., for the Northeast Water Polo Conference playoffs on Nov. 19-21. The No. 2 Crimson (26-6, 9-2 NWPC) entered the playoffs poised to make a run at defending its 2019 crown after it was stripped of that opportunity by the pandemic last fall.
The men’s water polo team continued its successful season Oct. 22-24 at the Julian Fraser Memorial Tournament, bringing its win-loss total to 20-3.
Water polo action saw Harvard (13-2, 3-0 Ivy League) take a convincing, albeit sloppy, 16-10 win over their cross-Cambridge rivals, MIT (3-8). The afternoon’s victory added the 13th tick to the Crimson’s flaming-hot 13-2 record and marked Harvard’s 20th consecutive win in the pool for this particular all-Cambridge match-up.
Harvard was busy on the road this weekend, with a trio of games against Princeton, St. Francis College Brooklyn, and Iona College. The Crimson brought back two wins, over the Tigers and Gaels of Iona to start the conference season with a 2-1 league record.
For the first time in roughly a year and a half, Harvard Athletics is back. Four teams took to the pool, field, and court across campus as fans cheered them on in an action-packed weekend after the first days of classes.
It has been almost a year and a half since the pandemic stopped Ivy League competition, sent Harvard students home, and flipped the world upside down — but Harvard men’s water polo is finally back in the pool together and looking ahead to its first competition in 644 days.
Even after four years of evading opponents in Blodgett Pool as a Harvard undergraduate, former Men’s Water Polo player Joseph H. Kaufman ’89 had never taken on a physical task as daunting as swimming the nearly 30-mile loop around Manhattan. That is until this summer, when Kaufman decided to take the plunge through the turbulent tides of the East, Harlem, and Hudson Rivers in New York City.
“I don’t think there was a feeling of anxiety or nervousness around the team, but I think that people definitely knew the pressure that was on us,” sophomore goalie Noah Hodge said. “Preparation-wise, everyone knew we just had to go out there and do what we’ve been doing all year.”
Now it is the first team to go undefeated in the Northeast Water Polo Conference regular season and tournament, with a historic 29-0 record.