The 10th-ranked Harvard women's water polo team failed to score double digits for the first time all season.
But the Crimson still won easily, 9-6, over MIT in the first day of the Harvard Invitational tournament before 30 people at Blodgett Pool.
The Crimson came out storming in the first period and got four straight goals.
The first goal was set up as Tri-Captains Eileen Pratt and Lynley Ogilvie ran water polo's equivalent of the pick-'n'-roll. Pratt, a junior, cut off Ogilvie's pick and rolled goalward, where she received Ogilvie's pass for an easy goal with only 2:34 gone in the game.
A minute later, junior Stacey Moran stole theball from two MIT players and fed Ogilvie, whocanned a shot from the left wing. Fifty-threeseconds after that goal, Ogilvie tallied again,this time from the right wing.
By the time Leean O'Connell tallied in the firstminute of the second quarter, Harvard had taken a4-0 lead, an exact reversal of what happened whenthe two teams played on Opening Day last month.
But there were signs of a comeback brewing. TheEngineers answered the Crimson's 4-0 run with a4-1 run, as MIT scored three goals--two with lessthan 40 seconds left in the first half and onemore 26 seconds into the third quarter.
The Engineers were frustrated by Harvard'scollapsing defense, and relied on the outside shotduring their comeback.
"That was our biggest problem," said seniorTri-Captain Leslie Barbi. "Almost all of theirgoals came from outside."
The MIT spurt was the squad's first and lastgasp in the game. Immediately after the Engineershad pulled to within one, the Crimson offensebegan to click on all cylinders.
Coincidentally, the Harvard defensive tempo wasturned up a notch as the Crimson played a pressuredefense all over the pool. "Our offense stems fromour defense," said Harvard Coach Chris Hafferty.
THE NOTEBOOK: Senior goalie TamsynSeimon played in the first half and was replacedat halftime by sophomore Amy Sandler. Each madeimpressive saves...The Invitational continuestomorrow morning when Harvard plays Brown at 11:30a.m