Harvard Splits Matches at Princeton Invitational

Meredith H. Keffer

Freshman center Devan Kennifer continued her outstanding first campaign this weekend at the Princeton Invitational. She scored four goals in the Crimson’s win over Villanova on Saturday while scoring once in a loss to Princeton. She alsorecorded hat trick

With a teaspoon of heart, a splash of soul and a cup of aggression, the Harvard women’s water polo team began to find the right mixture this weekend at the Princeton Invitational in New Jersey, although at times the recipe fell short.

Similar to play at last week’s Harvard Invitational, the Crimson (3-3) again split its games.

The women’s squad dominated both of its day matches against Villanova on Saturday and George Washington yesterday. When the sun set, however, Harvard fell, 10-8, to Ivy rival Princeton Saturday night and lost, 14-13, to Bucknell yesterday in the last of the weekend’s battles.

“Overall, we fought some really hard games and made some good steps as a team,” freshman Devan Kennifer said.

“But now that both teams have seen each other, it will be really interesting to see which teams respond next weekend.”


In Harvard’s last game of the tournament, the Crimson started out strong in what would be a hard-fought match. Both teams switched leads throughout the game, with Harvard beginning on the upside, up 5-1.

Bucknell (6-5) slowly chipped away at Harvard’s advantage, coming within two points of the Crimson at 7-5 as the first half drew to a close.

Starting the second half, Harvard would again claim a lead at 11-9, but the Bison soon pulled ahead 13-12.

In the last minute of the game, freshman Ita Barton-Kettleborough scored a goal for the Crimson, giving Harvard hope of either a win or chance to play in overtime.

But penalties would again destroy the Crimson’s chances. On a Villanova power play, Bison Valentina Rozas snuck a shot past captain Nicola Perlman, who is also a former Crimson magazine chair, and into the net with six seconds left in the game.


Prior to the loss against Bucknell, Harvard dealt the Colonels (1-4) a crushing 14-4 defeat. The Crimson opened the game at a slow pace, scoring only one goal in the first. GW also kicked off the game at a crawl and could only respond with one goal.

But while the Colonels continued to stall, Kennifer and freshman Monica Zdrojewski amped up the pace. Complemented by two goals from Barton-Kettleborough, the freshman duo contributed a hat trick apiece. Harvard never looked back.

Leading 6-3 at the half, the Crimson saw a shot each served up by junior Roxanne Pinto, freshman Shannon Purcell, junior Kristina Berquist, and sophomore Patricia Smith, throughout the second half. Harvard mounted a relentless barrage against GW goalie Charlotte Schou, while receiving two saves from Perlman, Harvard boasted a 10-point advantage as the final whistle blew.


Harvard’s win over GW was a testament to the team’s mental and physical strength after suffering a close defeat the night before against league foe Princeton (7-1). In a game similar to last year’s 14-10 loss, the Crimson fell behind the Tigers early, trailing 3-2 at halftime.

After a strong attack from the Princeton offense, Harvard found itself frustrated and down by six. Attempting to earn the come-from-behind win, the Crimson released an onslaught of four consecutive goals while Perlman remained stalwart and collected 10 saves throughout the game. Despite the second-half heroics, however, the team could not surpass the Tigers and eventually fell, 10-8, in a bittersweet loss.

“We walked away a little disappointed that we lost but happy that we stuck it to them until the very end,” junior Kelly Peeler said.


Earlier Saturday morning, the Crimson came out strong against the Wildcats (0-5), scoring seven points in the first half as Villanova lacked the force to muster a single goal. Harvard’s chain of shots began with Kennifer, who scored four times against the Wildcats throughout the game. Purcell would continue the momentum, putting two more in the back of the Villanova’s net while Perlman denied all Wildcat attempts in the first quarter.

Freshman goaltender Laurel McCarthy took the net for the last three quarters, stopping four shots and allowing only two scores.