The Fordham men’s water polo team had a long weekend, starting with a Halloween match against No. 16 St. Francis. The Rams held on to a minor lead of 3-1 going into the second half until the Terriers came out strong and responded with 10 goals, finishing the game 11-5. Senior captain Nick Allen had two, while freshman R.J. Simmons netted one to kick off the first half. However, Allen and Simmons had only one goal apiece in the second half to complete the scoring.
Game two of the weekend took place at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The Rams and Engineers proved to be a better matchup, each team responding to the other’s goals in the first half. The first quarter ended 1-1. However, in the second both the scoring and the intensity picked up, with both teams netting four more goals to end the half at a 5-5 stalemate. The Engineers had a one goal lead after the third quarter, which escalated to two early in the fourth. Fordham was only able to respond with one and MIT netted a last minute security goal to win the game 9-7. Allen led the team again with three goals, followed by Simmons with two and one each for sophomores David DeFontes and Patrick Lenihan. Junior goalie Noah LeBeau had eight saves.
The Rams faced Harvard and Connecticut College on Sunday in their final two games of the regular conference season. The first, against Harvard, resulted in a 9-5 loss. Trailing 6-2 at the half, the Rams pulled within one by the beginning of the fourth quarter, narrowing the score to 6-5. The Crimson, however, answered with three consecutive goals to end the match. Allen finished with two goals, while DeFontes, Lenihan and Gonzalez all had one. LeBeau had a high-performance game with 15 saves and two steals. The second match of the day proved to be much more successful for the Rams, where they topped Connecticut College 12-5. Scoring was spread out across the board, with the exception of Lenihan, who led the offense with three. Seniors Ben Clinkinbeard and Allen both put away two and Gonzalez, DeFontes, Simmons and sophomores Landon Kern and Mike Hays all contributed one goal as well.
“We are still two guys out, but we played well,” said head coach Bill Harris, “There was definitely not a lack of effort.”
Sixth-seeded Fordham will face third-seeded Brown this Saturday in Cambridge, Mass. for the start of the Northern Division Championship.
“The first time we faced them we were missing key players and the second time we just lost by one,” Harris said. “We’re really hoping to get our two benched players healthy for the tournament, but still, there are no easy teams out there.”