The Harvard women’s water polo team began its ten game California road trip this weekend in shaky fashion, dropping three out of four games to top ranked teams.
SAN JOSE STATE 20, HARVARD 1
This was the first time all season that the Crimson (9-9, 0-1 Ivy League) has been matched up against a top ten team in the nation. Facing off against the 10th-ranked Spartans (17-9, 0-2 Mountain West) in the pool, Harvard was unable to get anything going offensively.
“The teams that we played so far are a lot more physical than we’re used to, which is different for us, but it’s definitely good for us,” freshman attacker Lexi Del Toro said. “We’re learning how to play against these top teams, [and] we’re learning how to be more physical and to take that back with us.”
Harvard’s lone goal was scored by senior co-captain Shayna Price, with all the other scoring taken care of by the San Jose State offense. The second half of scoring belonged to the Spartans, who scored nine unanswered goals to end the game.
For the Crimson, key scorer Yoshi Andersen did not play the entire weekend, and her goal scoring ability was missed throughout the match ups.
“She [Yoshi] is a big part of our offensive team,” Del Toro said. “I think that we played well without her, but you could definitely tell she was missing on the offensive side at least because she is a big scorer.”
UC SAN DIEGO 15, HARVARD 7
Wrestling with yet another team in the top 20 proved to be too much for the Crimson as the squad could not hold off the No. 13 Tritons (17-9).
Harvard went down early in the game, trailing 6-1 by the end of the first quarter of play.
“I think it’s the same style [of play], but the team is full of really great players,” junior co-captain Ariel Dukes said. “They’re a really good physical team and it’s always good to play those kinds of teams.
The Crimson was able to battle back in the second quarter of the game by scoring two goals of its own, only to be matched by UC San Diego. From then on the Tritons had control of the game, almost doubling Harvard’s goal tally for the remainder of the match.
SAN DIEGO STATE 7, HARVARD 5
Facing off for the second time in as many weeks, the Aztecs (12-8, 1-0 Mountain West) once again came out ahead of the battle. This week the Crimson was able to keep the game closer than the previous match up, falling by two goals compared to last week’s 12-8 loss in the Harvard Invite.
“Our coach had a very thorough scouting report for San Diego State since we already played them,” Del Toro said. “We had a lot of film on them and what they were running, so we had a much more thorough approach than last time on what they were going to run and who their good players were, so we were definitely more prepared stat wise.”
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