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Women's Water Polo Splits Four Games to Close Out Road Trip

The No. 20 Harvard women’s water polo team finished its West Coast road trip with a 4-3 record, closing out the week with a strong win over Fresno Pacific, a pair of tough losses to No. 9 Pacific and No. 14 San Jose State, and an overtime victory against Santa Clara.

“We really came together as a team this trip both in and out of the pool,” freshman Julie Harrison said. “All the games and training helped us develop and refine our game, in addition to providing some great team bonding experiences.”

NO. 20 HARVARD, 9, SANTA CLARA, 8

In the Crimson’s final game on its West Coast road trip, Harvard (8-9, 0-1 CWPA) defeated Santa Clara (5-14) 9-8 in a double overtime game on Saturday afternoon. Entering the last quarter down one point, senior Zoe Osborne, sophomore Haley Bowe, sophomore Kristen Hong and freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz each found the back of the net in the final quarter to send the game into overtime.

In the first overtime period, both teams failed to score. In the second, three minute overtime, Junior Sami Strutner took the feed from Carrera-Justiz to score the game-winning goal with 1:10 remaining.

“We were very happy to come out with an OT win against Santa Clara despite having a few slip ups in the 4th quarter,” Hong said. “The California trip in general was a good growing experience for our team. It allowed us to pinpoint the flaws in the implementation of our system and this allowed us to improve throughout the trip.”

NO. 14 SAN JOSE ST., 5, NO. 20 HARVARD, 3

In a closely-contested matchup against No. 14 San Jose St. (9-13), the Crimson came out to a 2-1 lead early in the first half. However, the Spartans outscored Harvard 3-0 in the second quarter, resulting in a 4-2 halftime score.

After the intermission, the two teams scored on a piece, resulting in the second loss on the weekend. In the low scoring game, junior goaltender Cleo Harrington had 11 saves in the net. Hong, Carrera-Justiz and senior Michelle Martinelli scored the Crimson’s three goals.

NO. 9 PACIFIC, 9, NO. 20 HARVARD, 5

Harvard played a strong first half against No. 9 Pacific (12-7), taking an early 2-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter, the team had held the Tigers at 2-2. By the halftime, Harvard trailed, but only by one goal. Ultimately, the Crimson was unable to pull off the upset against its top-10 opponent, falling 9-5 on Wednesday night.

Despite the loss, Harrington was a bright spot for the team. Racking up double-digit saves, the junior posted a good night against Pacific. With 12 saves, two assists and a steal, Harrington kept the score close throughout the match.

NO. 20 HARVARD, 14, FRESNO PACIFIC, 4

Dominating from the start of the game, Harvard took a quick 5-0 lead over Fresno Pacific (12-7) as the first quarter came to a close on Tuesday night. By halftime, the lead had increased to eight with the Crimson holding the 9-1 advantage. The second half served only to expand this lead with Harvard maintaining a 5-3 advantage throughout the final periods, easily defeating their opponent in the 14-4 victory.

A team effort, nine different players scored goals for the Crimson to lead the team to a double digit win. Continuing on her strong performance earlier in the trip, Carrera-Justiz led with three goals while teammates Martinelli, Hong, and freshman Mathilde Ribordy all netted two of their own.

—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at rena.simkowitz@thecrimson.com






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