On the Road, Women's Water Polo Takes One of Three

Wrapping up its regular season at Bucknell, the Harvard women’s water polo team (13-16, 2-3 CWPA South) went 1-2 on the weekend, dropping two contests to Brown and the Bison before defeating Mercyhurst.

HARVARD 13, MERCYHURST 6

In the team’s lone win of the weekend, the Crimson offense dominated in the pool and led from wire to wire.

Harvard seized a 5-1 advantage early in the contest and never looked back. Quick goals from freshman two-meter Melissa Balding started the scoring for the Crimson, which would see six different players find the back of the net over the course of the four quarters.

By halftime, Harvard found itself winning, 8-2. The Lakers (9-11, 0-4) scored three goals in the third quarter, but it would not be enough to bridge the gap.

Sophomore attacker Yoshi Andersen led Harvard with five goals, while Balding ended the day with three. Andersen also led in assists and steals, tallying two and four, respectively.

“Overall, this was a good way to get exposure to the good teams that we will be playing next weekend at the Southern Championships and the weekend after,” freshman attacker Lexi Del Toro said. “We have a chance to see what our competition is going to be like later on.”

PRINCETON 8, HARVARD 4

Saturday marked the second time this season that the Crimson has matched up against the Tigers (25-1, 4-0), who sit atop the CWPA South. The last time the two teams faced off came on March 2, when Princeton prevailed by an 11-9 margin.

With only one loss this season, the Tigers are currently tied for the ninth spot in the NCAA rankings.

It took the Harvard offense a while to get going, as the team was shut out in the first quarter. On the opposite side of the pool, the Tigers executed a consistent attack, scoring two goals in the first and second quarters.

By halftime, the Crimson was down, 4-2, but the team managed to rally coming out of the break and tie the game at four. For Harvard, those goals would be its last, as Princeton went on to strike four more times en route to the win.

“We always have a fun game against Princeton because it’s always really competitive,” junior co-captain Ariel Dukes said. “I think everyone really stepped up and played as hard as they could, so I thought it was a good game.”

Freshman attacker Michelle Martinelli, Del Toro, Andersen, and junior attacker Victoria Frager rounded out the Crimson’s offense with one goal each.

Dukes made three steals while in goal and stopped seven shots. Sophomore attacker Rachel Lobato, Balding, and Andersen each contributed a takeaway.

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