No. 21 Women's Water Polo Sweeps through Tournament

The No. 21 Harvard women’s water polo team (4-1) brought home a trio of victories at the Bison Invitational at Bucknell University. The Crimson opened with a 5-4 win against No. 19 Wagner (2-7) and went on to dominate George Washington (2-1) 16-6 and Gannon (0-4) 17-2.

“I think the key area that we were able to improve upon this past weekend was our defense,” sophomore Kristen Hong said. “Once our defense shut down our opponents offense, the rest came a lot easier.”


On Sunday morning, Harvard cruised to a 17-2 win over Gannon, taking home its fourth consecutive win and forth game limiting its opponents to six goals or less. The Crimson kept Gannon to two goals, its lowest scores-allowed total since a 15-1 win over Notre Dame in 2015.

The victory was a true team effort with seven Harvard players scoring multiple goals and nine players recording assists.


Hong led the team with four finishes, while Carrera-Justiz recorded the first hat trick of her collegiate career.

Captain Martinelli and freshmen Ribordy, Harrison, Angie Varona, and Lana Gorlinski each found the back of the net twice against Gannon.

“I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Minnis said.


Showing their offensive strength, five different Harvard players scored multiple goals throughout the game, leading the Crimson to its first of two double-digit wins on the weekend.

Junior Sami Strutner led Harvard’s offense with her first hat trick of the season. Additionally, Senior co-captain Zoe Osborne, Martinelli, freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz and Hong scored two goals each throughout the game, along with multiple assists each from Strutner, freshman Julie Harrison and senior Eela Nagaraj.

“We continued the momentum [from the Wagner game] when we played George Washington in the afternoon,” Minnis said.


Looking to rewrite last weekend’s 10-5 loss to Wagner, Harvard came out prepared for a defensive battle. Controlling the game from the beginning, co-captain Michelle Martinelli and freshman Mathilde Ribordy led the Crimson to an early 2-1 lead in the first quarter.

“We came out and really dictated the tempo against Wagner,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “We did a good job executing our defensive game plan.”

Anchoring the Harvard team, junior Cleo Harrington recorded 15 saves in the net, limiting Wagner to only 4 goals.

—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at