The No. 20 Harvard women’s water polo team finished its regular season with a split in its two-game weekend slate, taking down George Washington but falling short to No. 13 Princeton by equivalent 15-7 scores. The Crimson (19-11, 6-3 CWPA) completed its regular season with the most wins that the program has seen this decade.
“I think we played well in the GW game but I think we played a little bit below our potential in the Princeton game,” junior Yoshi Andersen said. “We were making mistakes that we talked about a lot and really tried to work on.”
HARVARD 15, GEORGE WASHINGTON 7
The first half of the Crimson’s contest against George Washington (12-14, 1-8) saw the two teams equally matched. The second half was a different story.
Five third-period goals led Harvard to an eight-goal victory on Saturday afternoon. The Colonials were unable to keep up with the Crimson, only netting one goal in the penultimate eight minutes. Harvard outscored GW by seven goals in the second half of the contest.
“We knew that we had to pick up the intensity,” Andersen said. “We switched up the defense so that we would have more opportunities on the counterattack.”
The first half was much more evenly matched, with both teams scoring two goals in the first frame. The second quarter looked to be ending in a similar fashion before junior Charlotte Hendrix netted a goal in the waning seconds to send the Crimson into the locker room with a 5-4 lead and momentum heading into the second half.
“I think we did start off a little bit on the slower side in the first half,” freshman attacker Sami Strutner said. “Something we’ve been working out is coming out strong and fast-paced.”
The win sends the Crimson into the CWPA Eastern Championships with some sense of momentum.
“Our biggest goal is to be really patient in all of our games and not try to force shots and try to rush into wins,” Andersen said.“We are such a good team when we are focused and relaxed and playing each possession one-by-one.”
PRINCETON 15, HARVARD 7
By the time the seventh second-quarter goal passed by the outstretched arms of captain and goalie Ariel Dukes, the Tigers (26-3, 9-1) had all but sealed the victory at Brown on Saturday morning. Princeton entered halftime with a seven-goal lead that it never seriously came in danger of losing in the second half of play.
“We were having a very bad passing day,” Andersen said. “We couldn’t connect with each other on our passes. Princeton’s obviously a very talented team and they’re going to capitalize on every mistake we make. I think we allowed the mistakes to snowball.”
Hendrix and Andersen each scored goals in the game’s first eight minutes to keep the Crimson within one goal headed into the second frame. But the Harvard offense sputtered as the Tigers exploded over the next eight minutes, with sophomore Lexi del Toro scoring the only Crimson goal of the quarter.
The Crimson defense held stronger in the second half, but its offense was not able to overcome the halftime deficit.
The second-quarter surge led Princeton to its 20th straight win over the Crimson.
—Staff writer Kurt T. Bullard can be reached at email@example.com.
Women's Water Polo Season RecapDespite a strong start to the 2014 season, the Harvard women’s water polo team could not continue its winning ways towards the end of the campaign, finishing 15-20 overall and 2-3 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division.
Women's Water Polo to Face Michigan, Indiana at Princeton
Women's Water Polo's Season Ends at CWPA ChampionshipsThe Harvard women's water polo team fell in the first round Friday before splitting its games in the consolation bracket.
Women's Water Polo Drops Trio of Games Against Ranked Opponents
Women's Water Polo Closes Record Season at CWPA Championship TournamentHarvard opened the tournament with a loss to No. 17 Princeton before defeating Connecticut College and George Washington. With a fifth-place finish on the line, however, the injury-plagued Crimson fell in its season-finale to No. 20 Bucknell, by four goals, to settle for a sixth-place finish.