Competing at Brown, the No. 20 Harvard women’s water polo team found mixed success in a trio of conference games. The Crimson (14-12, 4-4 CWPA) concluded its regular season with a one-point loss against No. 18 Hartwick (22-9, 6-2) on Friday, and a 7-3 loss against No. 14 Indiana (18-9, 5-3) and 14-3 win against St. Francis (PA) (10-19, 0-8) on Saturday. With these results, Harvard finishes its regular season with a conference winning percentage of .500.
“This weekend we didn't necessarily come out with the record we were hoping to. But, in the end our seeding isn't the most important thing going into eastern championships,” sophomore attacker Kristen Hong said. “I have a lot of faith that our team can fight our way through to the championship game in a few weeks.”
NO. 18 HARTWICK 12, NO. 20 HARVARD 11
After falling behind to Hartwick 5 -3 eight minutes into the game, Harvard outscored the Hawks over the final three periods. However, the Crimson’s late game efforts were not enough to overcome the first quarter deficit and upset Hartwick.
Fighting back following the first quarter, Harvard closed the gap, tying the score at 9-9 in the third quarter. Leading Harvard’s offensive push, freshman defender Mathilde Ribordy scored three goals for the Crimson, her second career hat trick.
Anchoring the defensive efforts, junior attacker Sami Strutner recorded two steals and two assists. Junior goalie Cleo Harrington made nine stops in net and helped the offense with a team-high four assists, her highest total this season.
NO. 14 INDIANA 7, NO. 20 HARVARD 3
On Saturday, Harvard again struggled to find momentum until too late in the game. Rebounding from a 5-0 deficit at halftime, Harvard outscored Indiana 2-1 in the third quarter, but failed to tally enough goals in the fourth to close the deficit.
Senior attacker Michelle Martinelli, and freshmen attackers Sofia Carrera-Justiz and Ribordy each scored one goal for Harvard in the team’s second half push against the Hoosiers.
NO. 20 HARVARD 14, ST. FRANCIS 3
Coming out strong from the opening moments of the game, Kristen Hong led the Harvard offense to a 14-3 victory against St. Francis. Hong’s hat trick marks the 12th-straight game she has scored in, the longest scoring streak for any Harvard player this season.
Several members of the Crimson found the back of the net multiple times against St. Francis, as senior utility player Zoe Osborne, Strutner, freshman utility player Julie Harrison and freshman defender Lana Gorlinski each scored twice.
Osborne also recorded four steals for the second time in one day, bringing her Saturday total to eight, the highest two-game total of any Harvard player on the year. In goal, sophomore Sam Acker recorded a season-high 11 saves.
“I think we played really well defensively,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “We dictated the tempo and played our pace, which was good”.
The Crimson will return to the pool on April 28 in Indiana for the first day of the CWPA Championships
—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at email@example.com.
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