The Harvard women’s water polo team set out on a taxing five-game road trip over two days as it took on a plethora of foes from the Empire state.
After finishing fourth in the ECAC Championships last weekend with a 1-2 record, the Crimson fared slightly better this past weekend as it finished 3-2, capturing wins over Siena, Utica, and St. Francis but falling to Hartwick and Marist.
MARIST 13, HARVARD 10
It was a case of missed opportunities for the Crimson in its final game of the grueling weekend stretch.
Despite having already played four games in two days, Harvard showed no signs of fatigue as it jumped out to an early 4-3 lead in the first.
Things quickly got of hand in the second as the Red Foxes hunted down the lead and turned on the jets to the tune of five goals.
Although a timely goal by junior Devon MacLaughlin brought the Crimson back within one to start the fourth, the lead was insurmountable as Marist scored three more late in the quarter to end the Crimson’s weekend on a low note.
“I’m glad we had a chance to develop our team grit,” co-captain Lauren Snyder said. “Just being able to play five games in 24 hours gives us a lot of confidence.”
HARVARD 13, ST. FRANCIS 12
Last-second heroics allowed Harvard to escape its first match on Sunday with a hard-fought, sorely-needed win.
The Crimson held a seemingly comfortable lead late in the third, 12-6, but the Terriers clawed their way back into the game. With less than a minute remaining in regulation and the game tied at 12, co-captain Vivian Liao launched the game-winner.
“Scoring a goal with the last shot was pretty exciting,” Snyder said. “But it was probably more exciting than we would’ve liked.”
MacLaughlin once again tore it up in the pool, scoring five goals and drawing four ejections. Liao—along with her game-winner—finished the game with a hat trick of her own as seven different scorers notched goals.
HARTWICK 17, HARVARD 8
The first night of action for Harvard came to a bitter end as Hartwick battered the net in a decisive victory.
Despite junior netminder and Crimson magazine chair Nicola Perlman’s best efforts (she recorded 13 saves) Hartwick’s imported guns ravaged the Crimson. Kirsten Hudson (New Zealand) and Kaitlin Leonard (Quebec) had five and four goals, respectively. Barbara Amaro (Brazil) added three scores of her own.
After a quarter of relatively even play, the Hawks flew out of the gates in the second, outscoring Harvard 5-0. The Crimson never had a chance to come back, down nine after three quarters.
Despite the loss, MacLaughlin continued to showcase her offensive prowess as she scored four goals and drew two ejections. Snyder also contributed to the scoring efforts, putting in a hat trick of her own.
HARVARD 9, UTICA 1
The team cruised to an easy victory in its second match of the night as it made short work of the Pioneers.
The coaching staff rolled out several different rotations, including an interesting decision to let Snyder get some minutes in the net.
Despite playing in goal for the first time in her career, she stopped 10 shots and contributed to the near shutout posted by the Crimson.
“I played shallow end goalie in high school and I’ve wanted to get a chance to show what I could do in college,” Snyder said.
HARVARD 12, SIENA 8
The Crimson got its long weekend off to a roaring start ultimately downing Siena 12-8 with four unanswered goals in the last period of play.
The win however was far more difficult than the score line suggests.
“We had a lot of ejections called against us,” Snyder said. “A lot of typical players for us were not in the rotation so others had to step up.”
Harvard had seven different scorers light up the scoreboard. MacLaughlin and sophomore Kathryn Bilder led the team with three goals each.
—Staff writer Mauricio A. Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.