No. 10 Men’s Water Polo Claims Ivy Title, Tops Harvard, 13-8

No. 10 Men’s Water Polo Claims Ivy Title, Tops Harvard, 13-8

PRINCETON, N.J. – Junior goalie Luke Weiser made a career-high 20 saves, and classmate Yahel Murvitz-Lahav scored three goals as No. 10 Brown University men's water polo won the 2015 Ivy Championship with a 13-8 victory over Harvard University at Princeton University's DeNunzio Pool on Sunday.

The Bears (15-3) claimed the Ivy title for the second time since the event began in 2010 and defeated the Crimson (9-8) for the third time on the season.

"Representing Brown in anyway associated with an Ivy championship is always special," Brown head coach Felix Mercado said. "Our guys played well, but we are not yet finished with the goals we have set for this year."

Brown topped Ivy club champion Dartmouth College, 17-6, in the morning in the semifinals to advance to the title game while Harvard beat No. 10 Princeton, 12-6, in the semifinals. Previously this season, the Bears edged Harvard in Cambridge, 10-9 (OT), on Sept. 19 and beat the Crimson, 16-12, in Providence on Oct. 11.

"This was a great team win against a quality, well-coached team," Mercado said.

Brown has now advanced to the title game in the five championship years of the tournament (the title game was not contested in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy) and won the title for the first time since 2011. Harvard made its first appearance in the first-place contest.

Murvitz-Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel) scored a hat trick for the second straight varsity match while juniors Luke Irwin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Jake Wyatt (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) and sophomore Tyler Kirchberg (Orinda, Calif.) tallied two goals apiece.

Seniors Matty Gallas (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Will Klein (Pasadena, Calif.) and sophomores Rico Burke (San Mateo, Calif.) and Tommy Bush (Lafayette, Calif.) each netted one goal.

Brown took a 3-1 lead after the first quarter with Wyatt notching the Bears' first two goals before Irwin registered a marker.

After Harvard pulled within 3-2, the Bears scored three straight goals to take a 6-2 edge with 4:17 left in the half. Klein, Kirchberg, and Murvitz-Lahav scored during the run, and Weiser (Los Alamitos, Calif.) stymied the Crimson on a penalty shot attempt. Brown led 7-5 at the half thanks to a goal from Irwin with 1.85 seconds to go before the break.

Burke and Murvitz-Lahav opened the second half's scoring to give the Bears a 9-5 advantage. A tally from Kirchberg put Brown up 10-6 with 2:40 left in the third, and the Bears led 10-7 heading to the final frame.

In the fourth, the Crimson trimmed the deficit to 10-8 prior to a penalty-shot goal from Murvitz-Lahav. Weiser denied another penalty-shot attempt from Harvard at 5:38, and Bush and Gallas charted insurance tallies for the Bears.

Next, Brown will compete at "The Rodeo," the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, from Oct 23-25. The Bears begin play at the invite against host Santa Clara on Friday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET.

Brown 13, Harvard 8
Brown....................... 3…4…3…3…13
Harvard..................... 1…4…2…1…8
Brown Goals: Murvitz-Lahav 3, Irwin 2, Kirchberg 2, Wyatt 2, Burke, Bush, Gallas, Klein.
Brown Saves: Weiser 20.