The Harvard women's water polo team paddled to a three-victory weekend at the Maryland tournament this weekend, and the young Crimson squad served notice to its Eastern competition that it is a force to be reckoned with.
Harvard (4-4 overall, 1-1 Ivy), fell narrowly in the first game of the round-robin tournament to reigning Eastern champion Bucknell, 17-15, on Friday night.
"We outplayed them, and now we know that we can beat them. Next time they're ours," said senior Tri-Captain Elizabeth Brummond.
After this narrow defeat, no one could blame the Crimson if it had experienced a mental let down, but Harvard came back with three straight wins.
On Saturday morning, the Crimson defeated Annapolis/Navy 12-7, and followed up with a 20-4 blowout of Penn State and an 18-5 drubbing of Ivy League rival Princeton.
Junior Tri-Captain Jennifer Gahan led the Crimson with 19 goals and four assists on the weekend. Brummond also registered double figures with 17 goals and four assists.
"We had a great tournament. We got a lot of experience and really developed our game--our defense was great this weekend especially Suzanne Foley. On offense, Elizabeth and Jennifer really came through," Coach Nancy Nitardy said.
Brummond plays hole-set, the quarterback position of the offense, while Gahan cuts to the goal from her driver position.
"The captains [Brummond, Gahan and senior Bridget Lyons] have really helped the development of this program. They deserve a lot of credit for where we are," Nitardy said.
The Crimson's overall record is misleading, for its four losses have been by a total of five points, including losses to Metro and Brown.
In both of these games Harvard was without the service of starting goalie Veronica Hackenthal.
"We have improved with every game. Our goal is to place in the top two at Easterns and advance to nationals. The potential is there," Nitardy said.
Harvard's next contest will be this weekend when the Crimson team travels down the Mass Pike to play in the University of Massachusetts Tournament.