The Harvard women’s water polo team swept its opening matches Saturday, defeating three visitors at Blodgett Pool. The Crimson defeated Iona, 15-13, and Villanova, 18-6, before closing out the day with a 10-7 win over CAMO.
Nine different Harvard players scored over the course of the day. Freshmen Yoshi Andersen and Charlotte Hendrix each had multiple hat tricks in their collegiate debuts.
“I was very excited with the way we’ve started off,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “I think we did a lot of good things. Defensively, we really moved today; we locked it down when we needed to.”
HARVARD 12, CAMO 8
The Crimson took a commanding early lead and held on for its third win in eight hours as Harvard defeated CAMO, a Montreal-based junior national team, 12-8. Andersen and co-captain Aisha Price both recorded hat tricks.
The Crimson jumped out to a 6-0 lead less than three minutes into the second quarter as Andersen and co-captain Elise Molnar found the net multiple times. Junior Shayna Price and freshman Rachel Lobato also contributed to the early run.
But a scrappy CAMO team challenged Harvard in spurts. The club closed out the second quarter with a 4-1 run.
“[CAMO is] an international team, and it’s a different style,” Minnis said. “They’re a very physical team, and that’s not something you see all the time. They make you work for everything.”
The Crimson controlled the opening of the third period as Andersen completed the hat trick and Aisha Price contributed two close-range floaters to put Harvard up, 10-4. But CAMO responded with another strong back-half, ending the quarter on a 3-0 run to cut the Crimson’s lead to three.
Harvard’s final goal with just over a minute left in the final frame put the game out of reach. Aisha Price zipped a close shot from the right wing for her fourth goal of the evening.
“I thought it was pretty inspiring that we were able to pull it together for three games,” Andersen said. “It just shows how dedicated everybody was to preseason.”
HARVARD 18, VILLANOVA 6
Harvard surged to an 11-0 lead in its best start of the day as the Crimson cruised to beat the Wildcats, 18-6. Aisha Price led all scorers with five strikes while Hendrix and sophomore Kalina Grabb were close behind with four and three goals, respectively.
Andersen struck first for the Crimson just over two minutes into the first quarter. Harvard added another five markers in the opening frame, including two from Grabb.
The Crimson tallied five more unanswered goals in the second period before Villanova found its first. In the third, Villanova outscored Harvard, 2-1, but the Crimson controlled the last quarter, 6-3, to ride to a 12-goal win. Minnis felt that Harvard’s next meeting with Villanova in two weeks will not be as comfortable.
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