Women's Water Polo Wins Three of Four in Harvard Invitational

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The No. 21 Crimson women’s water polo team (7-4) competed this weekend in the Harvard invitational. On Saturday, the Crimson first beat Toronto in an exhibition game, 7-3, and then went on to defeat No. 18 San Jose State, 7-6. On Sunday, Harvard closed out the weekend, falling to No. 15 Wagner, 10-6, in the morning, but bounced back in the afternoon with an impressive 15-6 win over Siena.

“It was a solid weekend overall,” co-captain Sami Strutner said “We won a close match against San Jose and look forward to learning from the mistakes over the weekend and growing as a team.”

No. 21 HARVARD 15, SIENA 6

Dominating from the start of the game in the final contest of the Invitational, the Crimson immediately tallied six goals in the first frame against Siena (1-10). Strutner, sophomore Julie Harrison, freshman Olivia Price and freshman Quinne Pursell, all contributed to Harvard taking a 9-1 lead at halftime.


In the second half, freshman Jilly Cronin scored four goals, complementing Strutner’s hat trick to guarantee a strong Crimson victory. In the net, junior Sam Acker had fourteen saves.

No. 15 WAGNER 10, No. 21 HARVARD 6

In Sunday morning’s game against No. 15 Wagner (8-6), Harvard was unable to recover from a 5-1 halftime deficit. Wagner immediately took control of the game, scoring the first four goals. In the second frame, Price scored the Crimson’s lone goal of the half.

In the third quarter, Harvard staged a come-back, gaining momentum and scoring three goals. Unfortunately the co-captain Cleo Harrington’s 13 saves in net, second half goals by Price, Harrison, junior Kristen Hong, Strutner and sophomore Mathilde Ribordy were not enough for the Crimson to win. The dominant Wagner offense found the back of the net five times in the second half, leading to the final game score of 10-6.

No. 21 HARVARD 7, No. 18, SAN JOSE STATE 6

In a closely-contested matchup between Harvard and No. 18 San Jose State (5-11), the two teams went goal for goal until the last minute of play. After the final quarter opened with a 5-5 score, Strutner found the back of the net with 4:41 left in the game and Hong scored 58 seconds later on a penalty shot.

The Crimson has played San Jose State eight-times. Saturday’s win marks Harvard’s first win over San Jose State in the history of the series, and the Crimson’s second ever win over a team in the MPSF Conference. Harvard’s last victory against a team in the MPSF Conference was over Arizona State in 2002.


Harvard immediately took the lead in its first matchup of the Harvard Invitational. In an exhibition game against Toronto (2-0), the Crimson scored six goals in the opening period to take an early 6-1 lead. In the second quarter, Harvard scored again before switching to a defensive mindset for the second half.

“I was happy we made steps forward against San Jose but there is still a lot of work to be done,” Harrington said. “We are looking forward to getting a lot of experience against tough teams on our California trip over spring break.”

Next week, Harvard heads to California for 10 games on its annual West Coast Trip, beginning with the SDSU Invitational.

—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at


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