The Harvard women’s water polo team was lucky to make the short drive to Providence this weekend for the Brown Invite, because the trip was much longer for some of the team’s opponents.
Facing off against two squads from the east coast and two from the west, the Crimson (14-13, 3-2 CWPA) defeated George Washington on Saturday but then lost three straight times, twice to ranked teams.
The action served as Harvard’s final tune-up before its postseason tournaments, which commence with the Southern Division Championships next weekend.
“We’re always trying to look to get good wins, no matter if it’s in a tournament or a regular season game,” co-captain Aisha Price said. “But we’re not trying to look ahead. We want to play this weekend as best we can against really good teams and learn what we can from this weekend building into next weekend.”
ARIZONA STATE 17, HARVARD 8
The Crimson’s final game of the regular season came against No. 3 Arizona State (23-5)—a team whose only losses on the year have come to teams ranked in the top five nationally.
Harvard found itself in the game going into the intermission, trailing 8-5. But the Sun Devils took control in the second half, outscoring the Crimson by six goals to secure the victory.
Junior Shayna Price, the squad’s leading scorer for the third game in a row, tallied four goals and contributed an assist. Her sister, Aisha Price, posted two goals and three steals to help spur the offense in the first half.
“If you want to be the best, you have to play against the best,” Crimson coach Ted Minnis said. “You have to do the little things, and we see them do the little things and have to adjust quickly. The speed, the strength of the game and all that is something that helps you down the line.”
CSU BAKERSFIELD 17, HARVARD 12
In a game that saw considerable offense from both teams, the Roadrunners (12-20) ended up on top in an early start on Sunday morning.
Despite a career day from freshman Charlotte Hendrix, who contributed ten points on the game, Cal State Bakersfield outscored Harvard in the first three periods of play to ride to a 17-12 victory.
Hendrix registered a hat trick along with a career-high seven assists on the day to spearhead the Crimson attack. Shayna Price found the back of the net five times.
The Roadrunners built themselves a lead before intermission, outscoring Harvard by three goals in the first period and by two tallies in the second.
The second half seemed to be an entirely different game, as the two teams combined to produce 18 goals. After the two periods went down as even, with both the Crimson and CSU scoring nine times apiece, Harvard ultimately could never recover from the early deficit.