Returning from its West Coast road trip, the No. 20 Harvard women’s water polo team dominated both of its games in Pennsylvania over the weekend. On Saturday, the Crimson (10-9, 0-1 CWPA) defeated Mercyhurst 15-4. The next day, Harvard again cruised to victory, winning 17-6 against Gannon.
“I was happy with this weekend. We scored 32 goals this weekend, which is great,” coach Ted Minnis said. “Our offense really woke up, which is what we’re going to need in this stretch coming up here.”
NO. 20 HARVARD 17, GANNON 6
On Sunday, picking up right where it left of the night before, the Crimson defeated Gannon (6-10), again winning by a double-digit difference.
Harvard made a definitive statement in the second quarter, scoring no less than nine times in the period. The Crimson displayed confidence from the opening minutes and opened up the lead after holding just a one-goal advantage out of the first quarter.
Harvard’s defensive powerhouse also shined to complement the offense. The Crimson defense held Gannon scoreless in the third quarter, recorded 17 steals, and senior Eela Nagaraj set a career high with five swipes.
Leading the offensive charge, senior attacker Michelle Martinelli matched her career-high with five goals, and freshman Mathilde Ribordy set a personal best with four goals.
Six other players also contributed goals to the team-effort win. The 17 total goals scored mark the second time Harvard has tallied 17 goals in a single game. The Crimson’s first 17-goal game was on Feb. 12, also a win against Gannon.
“This weekend was really a dress rehearsal for our upcoming conference games,” sophomore Kristen Hong said. “It was a good chance to solidify and work on the improvements that we made to both our offense and defense.”
NO. 20 HARVARD 15, MERCYHURST 4
Playing against Mercyhurst (3-11) on Saturday evening, ten different Harvard players scored to lead the Crimson to a decisive 15-4 win.
From the opening minute, Harvard dominated the game. In the first half, Hong and senior Zoe Osborne led the Crimson with two goals. Their goals were joined by tallies by sophomore Haley Bowe, Nagaraj, junior Sami Strutner, and freshmen Sofia Carrera-Justiz, Lana Gorlinski and Ribordy, to secure Harvard an eight-goal lead at halftime.
In the second half of the game, freshmen Angie Varona, Ribordy, and Julie Harrison each found the back of the net, extending the Crimson’s lead. Late in the game, Osborne scored once more to collect her first hat trick of the season.
Both junior Cleo Harrington and sophomore Sam Acker saw time in goal, which, along with overall strong defense, kept Mercyhurst to four goals.
—Staff writer Rena Simkowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.