Traveling to California over spring break to play seven West Coast teams, the No. 20 Harvard women's water polo team finished its first few days with mixed results. In its first game, the Crimson (6-7, 0-1 CWPA) fell to No. 4 California, 14-7, at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley. On Sunday, Harvard split a pair of contests, beating Sonoma St., 13-10, before falling to No. 14 UC Davis, 10-6.
NO. 14 UC DAVIS 10, NO. 20 HARVARD 6
Coming off of a win against Sonoma State, Harvard was unable to keep the momentum going early on against UC Davis, trailing 6-3 by halftime of its second game of the day.
In an impressive individual feat, freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz tallied her second hat trick of the day, bringing her weekend total to seven goals.
“At this point in the season and trip, we are still moving a lot of parts in a big puzzle to make our team the best it can be,” sophomore Kristen Hong said.
NO. 20 HARVARD 13, SONOMA STATE 10
On Sunday, competing in Davis, Calif., the Harvard women's water polo defeated Sonoma State, 13-10. Hong tallied a season-high five goals in the high-scoring game and added to her goal from the night before. Carrera-Justiz scored three goals and three assists against the Seawolves
With the game tied at 5 entering halftime, Harvard again showed its second half strength by outscoring Sonoma State 8-5 in the second frame. Sophomore Sam Acker racked up six saves in net to give Harvard its first West Coast win of the trip.
The Crimson managed to pull away in the second half. Senior Michelle Martinelli tallied two goals in the third quarter and Hong added two of her own in the fourth as the Crimson outscored the Seawolves, 8-5 down the stretch.
NO. 4 CALIFORNIA 14, NO. 20 HARVARD 7
Playing one of the top teams in the country, Harvard struggled to recover from an early deficit. The Crimson didn’t get on the scoreboard until the second quarter and entered halftime down 8-1.
In the second half, Harvard fought hard to overcome the deficit, going splitting the 12 second half goals with Cal. Harvard’s late game efforts were not enough though to close the gap with the fourth-ranked Golden Bears.
“We were pretty happy with the way we played against Cal in the second half and were really able to step it up.” sophomore Kristen Hong said.
Martinelli led the offense for Harvard, scoring four of the seven goals. The other three were scored by senior Zoe Osborne, junior Sami Strutner, and Carrera-Justiz.
—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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