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Women's Water Polo Held Off by Maryland, 12-11

Pictured: Devan Kennifer
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Harvard women's water polo team narrowly fell to Maryland, 12-11, in the seventh-place match at the Eastern Championship. The Crimson wraps up the season with a 12-15 overall record and an eighth place finish at the Eastern Championships.

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In a tightly contested match, Maryland owned a 3-2 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Patricia Smith knotted the score seconds into the second period. Ita Barton-Kettleborough put Harvard ahead with just under six minutes left in the half with a five-meter penalty shot. After Maryland tied the score, Lizzie Abbott lobbed a shot over the Terrapin goalie and into the cage to give the Crimson the lead again midway through the second period. Maryland found an equalizer once again before Smith cashed in on a power-play shot with about two minutes on the clock. The Terrapins rattled off three straight goals to hold an 8-6 advantage at the break.

The two teams each tallied a pair of goals in the third quarter as Maryland retained a two-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter. Moments after the Terrapins extended their lead to three, Shannon Purcell and Devan Kennifer struck to cut the deficit to a single tally. Maryland scored its 12th goal of the game with 1:34 remaining in regulation. Kristina Bergquist buried a marker to pull Harvard within one with two seconds left in the contest.

Kennifer lead the Crimson with a hat trick on the day. The sophomore finished the weekend with five goals to her credit and was tabbed to the Eastern Championship All-Tournament second team. Purcell and Smith each tallied a pair of goals in the game. Abbott, Barton-Kettleborough, Bergquist, and Elise Molnar all finished with one score. Making her first collegiate start between the posts, Shami Entenman recorded four saves.