Women's Water Polo Welcomes Five Teams For Harvard Invitational; Takes on Villanova in Season Opener

Senior co-captain Kelly Peeler (pictured) and the Crimson open the 2010 season Feb. 6 against Villanova, in the opening match of the Harvard Invitational.
Photo courtesy of

The Particulars:
The Crimson opens the 2010 season as it hosts the Harvard Invitational at Blodgett Pool. Six teams will be competing and nine games will be played in two days. Each team will be opening their seasons at the event. Action begins Saturday, Feb. 6, as the host Crimson face Villanova at 11 a.m. Play resumes Sunday, Feb. 7, with Iona and Villanova squaring off at 8 a.m.

Last Time Out:
Harvard wrapped up the 2009 season by defeating Bucknell, 9-8,  at the Eastern Championships to finish in seventh-place in the league. Patricia Smith recorded a hat trick and Devan Kennifer tallied the game-winning goal with 4:07 left to play.

Preseason Prognostications:
Harvard is ranked seventh in the Collegiate Water Polo Association preseason poll. The Crimson finished last season ranked No. 7 in the CWPA. The team is slated to play eight games against opponents in the preseason national poll.

About Harvard:
The Crimson returns 85 percent of its scoring from a year ago, including sophomore Devan Kennifer who lead the team with 80 tallies. Kennifer is the reigning CWPA Northern Division Rookie of the Year. Sophomore Monica Zdrojewski, a CWPA All-Northern Division second team honoree who scored 39 goals last season, also returns for the 2010 campaign. Sophomore goaltender Laurel McCarthy, who accumulated 52 saves and seven wins last season, returns between the pipes for the Crimson.

About Brown:
The Bears began the season ranked No. 20 in the preseason national poll and third in the CWPA preseason poll. Brown’s roster is comprised of a trio of seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen. The Bears accumulated 22 wins last season en route to a fourth-place finish at the Eastern Championships.

About Iona:
After finishing 2009 with a 24-8 record, the Gaels returned three of its top five scorers from last season. Cecilia Leonard tallied 56 goals while Maggie Wood scored 55 and Mone netted 51. Iona returned last year’s leading scorer, Lauren Peterson, as an assistant coach.

About Siena:
The Saints posted an overall record of 10-17 last spring. Siena returns two of its top three offensive threats from 2009. Camille Norman was second on the squad with 44 goals and Devan Ragg had a hand in 73 scores, netting 25 goals and dishing out 48 assists.

About Villanova:
The Wildcats brought back two of its top three scorers from a year ago,  Kathleen Maloney and Maria Apablasa. Maloney scored 52 goals and Apablasa found the back of the net 45 times.

Saturday Feb. 6
11 a.m. Harvard vs. Villanova
12:30 p.m. Brown vs. Siena
3 p.m. NYAC vs. Iona
4:30 p.m. Harvard vs. Siena
6 p.m. Villanova vs. Brown

Sunday Feb. 7
8 a.m. Iona vs. Villanova
9:30 a.m. Harvard vs. NYAC
Noon NYAC vs. Villanova
1:30 p.m. Harvard  vs. Iona

Coming Up:
Harvard travels to Princeton, N.J. to compete in the Princeton Invitational. The Crimson will face Iona, Wagner, Michigan and George Washington in the two-day event.