BRONX, N.Y. -- It was a wild and crazy set of water polo matches at the Messmore Aquatic Center on Saturday, but in both instances Fordham University's Robert Fleming netted the game-winning goal, as the Rams topped the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University by identical 10-9 scores with the first match against MIT going into overtime.
With the pair of wins, Fordham improves to 5-9 overall, 2-0 in the CWPA Northern Division, while MIT fell to 5-10 with Harvard moving to 4-7.
In the opening match, Fleming scored five times for Fordham, including the game-winning goal with 0.1 seconds left in overtime to give Fordham the 10-9 victory.
Fordham initially led the game, 4-2 after the first quarter with Fleming and Eric Minowitz each scoring twice, while goalkeeper Noah LeBeau kept MIT at bay with seven stops in the first eight minutes of play.
The Rams extended the lead to 7-3 at the half, as Fleming, J.D. Shrewsbury and Nicholas Allen found the back of the net in the second quarter.
MIT would rally back though in the second half, outscoring Fordham, 5-1, and forcing overtime with the game tied up at eight all.
Neither team scored in the first three minutes of overtime, but Fleming put Fordham ahead 9-8 a minute into the second three-minute session. MIT's Craig Cheney responded with his third goal of the game just 17 seconds later, tying the game at nine. Fordham then got the final possession, whittling the clock down to the final second, when Fleming let loose a shot and scored the game-winner as the final horn sounded.
For Fordham, Fleming finished with five goals and three steals with Shrewsbury having two goals and three assists. LeBeau ended the game with a season-high 15 saves to go with two steals.
In game two, Fleming answered the call once again, scoring the game-winner against Harvard on a penalty shot with 46 seconds remaining.
The score was even after one quarter at three all, before Fordham grabbed a 7-6 halftime lead. Fleming and Jake Bakas each had two goals in the half with Allen, Minowitz and Josh Itano having the other first half tallies. LeBeau started the game in net, finishing the first quarter, but had to leave the game with an injury, bringing in senior Christian Flessner.
Flessner came up big with 13 saves over the final three periods, keeping Fordham in the game.
Harvard rallied to tie the game on three occasions, the last at nine all on a goal by Evan Ramsey with 1:55 left. The Rams fought their way through the final two minutes, forcing Harvard's William Roller into a penalty, rewarding the Rams' with the five-meter shot. Fleming fired the ball just inside the right post to give the lead back to Fordham at 10-9. Flessner then came up with another huge save at the other end to seal the Rams' second win of the day.
For Fordham, Fleming had his second five-goal game of the day to go with two steals, while Bakas had two goals. Itano, Shrewsbury, and Minowitz had the other markers with Allen chipping in two assists and three steals.
Release courtesy Fordham Athletic Communications