It was a day of firsts in the pool for the Harvard men's water polo team at the MIT Invitational, as the Crimson got its first win, 12-8, over Cal Lutheran, and new head coach Ted Minnis earned his first collegiate coaching victory.
The win on improves Harvard to 1-1 on the year. Harvard led for most of the game, leading 4-3 after the first period and 10-7 at halftime. The team focused on playing tough defense in the second half, and it worked, as the Crimson allowed just one goal to Cal Lutheran in the final two periods.
"We were playing real well," said Minnis, "So we talked about playing defense and really playing hard on the defensive end. I was really proud of the defensive effort by the guys."
Senior Alex Thompson led the team in scoring for the second time in the tournament with four goals Sunday. Senior captain Bret Voith added three goals and an assist and senior Jeff Lee had two goals and a helper to lead the Crimson. Junior goalie Alexander Popp, a Menlo-Atherton grad, had 11 saves.
Harvard opened its season Saturday with a 16-7 loss to nationally ranked St. Francis.
Harvard will travel to the Princeton Invitational next weekend.
A pair of local athletes helped Harvard beat Bryant College in five sets on Saturday.
Gunn grad Teresa Skelly had 12 kills and recorded a hitting percentage of .647. Castilleja grad Taylor Docter added 11 kills and 16 digs.
Harvard opened its season with a 3-1 loss to Eastern Illinois as Docter led the way with 14 kills and eight digs. On Saturday night, the Crimson concluded its weekend wit a 25-14, 25-15, 15-13 loss to Boston College as Skelly had six kills.
The Crimson (1-2) is at Fordham on Friday.