W. Water Polo Opens Season 0-4

The Harvard women’s water polo team had a tough weekend as it opened its 2003 season at the Princeton Invitational.

The No. 19 Crimson (0-4) first fell to Australian University Sport and No. 10 UCSB on Saturday. Harvard then dropped contests to No. 13 Indiana and Arizona State on Sunday.

Although the Crimson lost each of its games at the Invitational, the team will use the game experience to pinpoint the areas of its play that need improvement before league competition begins.

“It’s good to get these games early in the season and figure out what we need to work on,” Harvard coach Jim Floerchinger said. “It makes training that much better.”

Australia University Sport 11, Harvard 4

Entering the game against Australia University Sport—a team comprised of players from many Australian universities on an 18-day tour of the United States—the Crimson wasn’t sure what to expect.

But Harvard soon found out, as the Australians jumped out to an early lead with some skillful play.

“[They were] a much stronger team than we had anticipated,” captain Tiana Peterson said. “They caught us on our heels.”

Although the Australians had built a big lead by halftime, the Crimson was pleased with its play in the second half, when Harvard was able to regroup and reign in the Australians’ offense.

Junior Elana Miller and freshman Lydia Gardner performed admirably in goal, a trend that would continue all weekend.

UCSB 12, Harvard 4

Against UCSB (5-4), Harvard had the opportunity to make amends for its loss earlier that morning.

Unfortunately, the Crimson experienced many of the same difficulties it had faced in its previous match and the Gauchos capitalized on the errors.

“[We] don’t have our game shape right now,” Floerchinger said. “We had a lot of momentary lapses that other teams took advantage of.”

Harvard got a goal from sophomore Stephanie Frias, who played solidly all weekend.

“She maximized the minutes that she got,” Floerchinger said.