Comeback Bid Falls Short as Women's Water Polo Bows to Bucknell

Comeback Bid Falls Short as Women's Water Polo Bows to Bucknell

Pictured: Monica Zdrojewski
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Harvard women's water polo team suffered a 12-10 defeat to No. 19 Bucknell at the CWPA Eastern Championship. Special teams play was a major component in the contest as over half of the offense came on man-up opportunities and five-meter penalty shots. The two squads combined to score four penalty shots and eight man-up tallies.

Elise Molnar opened the scoring at 1:31 with a five-meter penalty shot. The Bisons knotted the score just 21 seconds later. Shannon Purcell answered Bucknell's second tally with a man-up goal. With two minutes remaining in the opening period, Devan Kennifer rifled an equalizer into the left corner to make the score 3-3 heading into the final minute. The Bisons found the back of the net just before time expired to hold the lead. The two squads traded goals throughout the match. Bucknell would get a goal up on the Crimson and Harvard would respond with a score to tie the game. The Bisons grasped to the one-goal advantage at halftime as each team buried three markers in the second quarter.

Shami Entenman entered the game between the pipes in the second half. Entenman's presence was felt early as the junior turned aside a five-meter penalty shot 14 ticks into the half. Bucknell managed to score three times in the third stanza and stymied the Crimson offense, holding it to one tally. Harvard trailed 10-7 heading down the stretch. Purcell notched a score 1:18 into the final quarter. Bucknell extended the lead back to three less than a minute later. Monica Zdrojewski pulled the Crimson within a goal halfway through the period. The Bisons added an insurance goal with 1:20 remaining. Despite outscoring Bucknell in the final stanza, 3-2, Harvard bowed to Bucknell 12-10.

Zdrojewski paced the squad as she buried four goals. Purcell chipped in a pair of scores in the contest. Ita Barton-Kettleborough, Kennifer, Molnar and Aisha Price each found the back of the cage once for the Crimson. Laurel McCarthy and Entenman both recorded two saves in the game. Price added six steals in the match.

Harvard will now face host Maryland in the seventh-place match, Sunday at 10 a.m.