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HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK : Spirited Harvard Reaches 2-A Water Polo Semifinals

November 13, 1987|TIM BROWN

This was not supposed to be the year the Harvard High water polo team did much in the Southern Section 2-A playoffs. The Saracens are loaded with talent, but the touch of green you see is not from chlorine in the pool water, it's from the Saracens' inexperience.

Harvard starts only two seniors--Peter Richards and Greg Magnuson--but has advanced to the semifinals where it will play San Marino at Santa Monica High at 3:15 p.m. today.

Harvard Coach Rich Corso, who likes the youthful exuberance, is not yearning for his players to grow up.

"I think when they're younger it's easier to get them fired up," he said. "They play on emotion, but our kids are playing under control with intensity.

"We're not going to use anything as a development year. We're going for it."

Harvard (24-5) spreads the glory among many.

Damon Willich had five goals in Harvard's first-round, 8-5 win over Lompoc. In the second round against Rolling Hills, Justin Cheen scored the game-winner with 48 seconds left to give Harvard a 9-8 victory. On Tuesday, Richards and Tim Pennington combined for five goals and sophomore goalie Larry Bercutt made 18 saves to lead Harvard past La Serna, 9-7.

So who does an opponent key on?

"It's hard because we're so balanced," Corso said. "We really have no one superstar. Every kid's got his own role."

Harvard also might have an edge playing at Santa Monica because many of its players train there during the summer.

"If there's any pool we would consider our second home, that would be it," Corso said.

San Marino (19-4), under first-year Coach Steve Barrett, is a veteran team led by senior two-meter man Spencer Harris and senior goalie Jon Apt. Harris scored six goals in the Titans' triple-overtime, 11-10 victory Tuesday over San Luis Obispo. Apt is a two-time All-Rio Hondo League player.

Many of the members of San Marino's water polo team also are competitive swimmers. The Titans have won consecutive Southern Section swimming championships.

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