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After a shaky start to the Princeton Invitational, the No. 20 Harvard women’s water polo team rallied on Sunday to finish its four-game slate with an even split.
The Crimson (4-3, 2-1 CWPA) rode two double-digit goal outputs to two victories on Sunday after averaging less than eight per game on Saturday, bringing its record back above .500 on the year.
HARVARD 12, IONA 8
The Crimson avenged a loss earlier in the season to Iona (3-3) with a three-goal win over the Gaels. After scoring only two goals in the first quarter, Harvard exploded for five in the second to stretch its lead to three.
Even after a late surge from Iona, the Crimson prevailed by the same margin in the end, thanks in large part to junior Charlotte Hendrix’s five goals in the contest. Senior Kalina Grabb also was a potent force, notching four goals. Those two goal totals combined were more than Harvard scored in its 10-8 to Iona earlier this year.
HARVARD 12, VILLANOVA 3
The first game Sunday was highlighted by stout defense from the Crimson, as the team allowed only three goals to the Wildcats (0-6) throughout the entire matchup. Harvard, on the other hand, averaged three per quarter, with juniors Yoshi Andersen and Hendrix notching three goals apiece as well.
The Crimson opened the contest with eight of the game's first nine goals and never looked back. Senior Victoria Frager was crucial to the flow of the Harvard attack, picking up four assists in the victory. With the win, the Crimson has now beaten the Wildcats twice on the season with by a margin of twenty goals.
PRINCETON 12, HARVARD 6
The story was not the same on the first day of the tournament. Despite a pair of goals from Andersen and sophomore Melissa Balding, Harvard was also unable to beat the host of the invitational, folding to the No. 9 Tigers (2-0) by a six-goal margin.
Princeton, who wound up finishing the weekend with wins in three of its four contests, broke the game open in the second half. After holding a slim 5-3 halftime lead, the Tigers scored seven of the game's final ten goals to lock up the win. Senior Ashley Hatcher and rookie Chelsea Johnson paced Princeton with three goals each.
WAGNER 12, HARVARD 9
In its opening match of the Invitational on Saturday, the Crimson allowed five second quarter goals to Wagner (2-1), allowing the Seahawks to seize control of the match early on. Riding a four-goal halftime lead, Wagner came away with a 12-9 victory.
Harvard emerged from the first quarter tied with the Seahawks, but Wagner junior Lily Doerfler's three second-quarter goals propelled her side ahead. The Crimson would eventually cut its deficit to 10-8, but that was as close as Harvard would get.
This marks the second straight weekend that the Crimson has played at least three games on the road. Last weekend, the Crimson opened the year with two wins over St. Francis and Villanova and a loss to Iona. In its two wins, Harvard combined for a total of 34 goals while allowing only 14. The Crimson's 15-6 victory over St. Francis provided the team with momentum this weekend, as Harvard responded to three Terrier goals with ten unanswered prior to halftime.
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