After two weeks of inaction, the Harvard women’s water polo team returned to the pool to take on competition at the CWPA/MAAC Crossover at Villanova.
The Crimson (7-4) began its weekend on a sour note with two losses on Saturday. The first, a 10-8 defeat, came at the hands of Wagner, and the second came when Harvard fell to Iona a few hours later in a 17-14 affair.
But the team seized on the opportunity to bounce back the next day and captured two wins to end the weekend with an even slate. The Crimson offense twice tied its season-best 20 goals scored, first defeating Villanova, 20-10, and going on to beat Siena by a score of 20-6.
“It was a good weekend to get ready for conference play, which starts next weekend,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “It was good to get back in the water and play competition. I thought we did some good things, and I think there are some things we can definitely go back and improve on.”
HARVARD 20, VILLANOVA 10
Although the Crimson defeated Villanova (0-14) decisively by 15 goals two weeks ago, Harvard did not look past its opponents the second time around as the dominant Crimson offense propelled the squad past the Wildcats.
Sophomore goalie Ariel Dukes anchored Harvard in net to match her career-high 13 saves. Co-captain Aisha Price also contributed six assists in the high-scoring affair to set a new career mark.
“I can’t take any credit for anything that I’ve done,” Price said. “I have the opportunity to play with amazing girls. It’s so fun to play with them every weekend.”
Freshman Charlotte Hendrix, who is the team’s high scorer, led the Crimson offense with six goals. Seven other Harvard players found the back of the net, including sophomore Kalina Grabb and freshman Yoshi Andersen, who both contributed three-goal performances.
The Crimson produced consistently on the offensive end all game, scoring five goals in each of the four periods of play.
Progress was also made on the defensive front, as seven Harvard players totaled at least 2 steals to combine for a team season-high of 20.
After the win over Villanova, the Crimson took on Siena (0-4) in its final game of the weekend. Harvard came out on top by a score of 20-6, once again equaling its season-high in scoring and achieving its second largest margin of victory on the year.
IONA 17, HARVARD 14
Although the Crimson held a one-goal lead after the first period, Iona (5-3) struck back in the second to outscore Harvard by two. In the second half, the two teams played back-and-forth water polo, but the Gaels managed to outpace the Crimson by two goals to capture a 17-14 win.
Harvard hung with Iona the entire game, as three of the four quarters were decided by one goal.