Women’s Water Polo Opens Season at Villanova Invitational This Weekend
Harvard at Villanova Invite
Minnis and his team look to build off a successful 2013 campaign (photo courtsey: Justine Agaloos).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's water polo team's 2013 season gets underway with a trip to Villanova, Pa., for the Villanova Invitational. The Crimson is slated to face the Wildcats at 10 a.m., before returning to the water to take on the Gaels at 1 p.m.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network will stream each of the Crimson's three home events at Blodgett Pool this season. All the games during the Crossover Event (Feb. 22-23), the Harvard Invite (March 7-9) and Divisions (April 12-13) will be streamed. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletic events throughout the duration of their subscription
Last season, Harvard became the first team since the 2000-02 run to post three consecutive winning seasons with an 18-16 overall record and 3-3 mark in the regular season CWPA Southern Division games. The Crimson placed third in both the CWPA Southern Division regular season and the postseason tournament. Harvard advanced to the CWPA Eastern Championships and placed sixth, tied for the fifth-best finish in program history.
Harvard is testing a live stat program known as Fosh for its first game of the season against Villanova at 10 a.m. The program was developed by Ryan Sosin, Harvard's director of operations, and provides fans with a more statistical view of the game, including a look at play-by-play, a scoring summary and goaltending and exclusion stats. While still hovering around the developmental stage, Harvard aims to continue the innovative trend with Fosh moving forward.
Guess Who's Back
The Crimson returns nine members of the 2013 squad highlighted by second team All-CWPA Southern Division performers Yoshi Andersen and Ariel Dukes. Andersen tallied 61 goals, 42 assists and 54 steals, while Dukes was solid in between the pipes recording 246 saves. Shayna Price (76 goal, 33 assists, 39 steals), Charlotte Hendrix (71 goal, 42 assists, 57 steals), Victoria Frager (30 goal, 37 assists, 43 steals) and Jelena Cyr (18 goal, 11 assists, 18 steals) will each play a contributing role in the pool this season.
Harvard welcomes seven newcomers to its roster for the upcoming season. Melissa Balding, Alexis Del Toro, Jillian Dukes, Michelle Martinelli, Eela Nagaraj, Zoe Osborne and Emily Wang form the class of 2017. The rookies are composed of four student-athletes from California, while one calls Florida home, one hails from Connecticut, and one is a native of Alberta, Canada.
Related Link: Women's Water Polo Adds Six in Class of 2017
Senior Price and junior Ariel Dukes will serve as co-captains for the 2014 season. Price and Dukes were key components of the Crimson's highly successfully 2013 campaign.
Related Link: Price and Dukes Named Women's Water Polo Captains for 2013-14
Back to Business
Ted Minnis enters his fourth season as the Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach. He owns a career record of 52-43 (.547) while at Harvard. Minnis is joined by assistant coach Jessi Wood.
Villanova kicks off its 2014 season this weekend with matches against CAMO, Harvard and George Washington. The Wildcats ended its 2013 season with an 8-29 overall record and a trip to the MAAC Championships, where the Wildcats fell to Wagnewr, 13-3. Villanova returns 13 plays from last season's roster, while welcoming four newcomers for the team.
All-Time Against Villanova
Harvard and Villanova will meet for the 22nd time in program history. The Crimson owns a dominating 19-2 record against the Wildcats, winning the previous 16 meetings between the two teams.
Iona enters the weekend looking to notch its first win of the 2014 season dropping its first two games at the Michigan Kick-off Event Jan. 18-19. Iona fell to No. 15 Indiana, 17-9, and No. 13 Michigan, 15-6. The Gaels are led by a trio of seniors. Erika Lauraitis and Amy Olsen combined for seven goals across the two games while Marissa Gaynor finished the weekend with 16 saves.
All-Time Against Iona
Harvard holds an 11-4 advantage over Iona. In 2013, the Crimson and Gaels split the two matchups with Harvard edging Iona Feb. 2, 2013 before the Crimson dropped a 17-14 decision Feb. 23, 2013.
The Crimson will hit the road to Princeton, N.J., next weekend Feb. 8-9 for the Princeton Invite. Harvard will face Virginia Military Institution, Iona and Wagner across the two-day event.