Women's Water Polo Blown Out by No. 13 Hartwick

Jessica S. Lin

Freshman driver Roxanne Pinto (above) tallied two of the Crimson’s three goals in Saturday’s 13-3 dismantling at the hands of visiting Hartwick. Harvard only trailed 5-2 at halftime, but lacked the depth to stick with the 13th-ranked Hawks for the full fo

Thirteen proved to be an unlucky number for the Harvard women’s water polo team on Saturday afternoon, as it fell, 13-3, in its home opener against 13th-ranked Hartwick College (11-7).

Led by sophomore goaltender Nicola Perlman, the Crimson (3-3, 1-1 Ivy) began the game playing ferocious defense. Perlman, who is also a Crimson editor, finished the day with nine saves and repeatedly turned away uncontested shots, many of which were fired from within two meters.

“She played amazingly,” senior co-captain Lauren Snyder said.

Perlman’s efforts, along with the tough defensive play of Snyder, forced several turnovers early in the game and allowed Harvard to enter the break down just 5-2.

“We really came out strong,” Snyder said. “We were feeling confident and excited that were able to hang with them for such a long time.”

But one half is rarely enough. The Hawks offense exploded for eight goals in the second frame, while Harvard’s attack, plagued all afternoon by shots that seemed to either hit the post or miss just wide, was able to tally just one score in the final two quarters.

The visitors dominated in the second half thanks in large part to their overwhelming speed. When the Crimson was unable to recover quickly enough after turnovers, Hartwick utilized an effective transition game to notch easy goals.

“We knew that they were going to be bigger and faster than ourselves so we tried to limit their counter with varying degrees of success,” head coach Erik Farrar said. “They are not ranked 13th for nothing.”

A short Harvard bench, mainly the result of injury, is one of the reasons the Hawks were able to take control of the game as time wore on.

“It got the point where we didn’t have enough bodies to keep up with them in the end,” Snyder said.

Freshmen Roxanne Pinto paced the Crimson offense with two goals while Snyder pitched in the other.

The Crimson will need to recover quickly and prepare for the ECAC Championships at Blodgett Pool next weekend.

“It is just a question of gaining some more experiences, checking off a few boxes, and getting better,” Farrar said.

—Staff writer Julia R. Senior can be reached at