Women's Water Polo Splits on Opening Day of CWPA Easterns; Nearly Knocks Off No. 13 Indiana

Women's Water Polo Splits on Opening Day of CWPA Easterns; Nearly Knocks Off No. 13 Indiana

Harvard goalie Laurel McCarthy made an outstanding effort in the net for the Crimson against the Hoosiers (courtesy of Gil Talbot).

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Harvard women's water polo team split its two games Friday at the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship held at Indiana University. The Crimson downed Gannon, 17-3, before nearly upsetting No. 13/3 seed Indiana,7-6.

Monica Zdrojewski led the Crimson with five goals and four assists and Laurel McCarthy made 15 saves in two games, including 10 against the Hoosiers.

"I am so proud of how the girls played tonight," head coach Ted Minnis said after the Indiana game. "They played with a lot of heart and played with a top-20 team for the entire game. It was an exciting game from start to finish and that is what playing water polo is all about. We are still in a position to finish this season strong and I believe this team will put everything in the pool over its next two games."

Harvard handled Gannon in its opening round game Friday morning with a 17-3 victory. Five players recorded multi-goal games for the Crimson led by Zdrojewski's five markers. She had all five tallies in the first half, including three in the first quarter. Shannon Purcell chipped in four goals, while Devan Kennifer, Shayna Price and Aisha Price tacked on pairs of goals in the winning effort.

The Crimson scored six goals in each of the first two quarters to take a 12-2 lead at the half. The Crimson shut out Gannon in the third quarter while posting two goals on its own.

In cage, McCarthy and Shami Entenman split time and recorded five saves each.

The Crimson scored the first tally of the game against Indiana, who honored its seniors before the start of the night cap contest. The Hoosiers answered and each team scored one more time before the first quarter game to an end. Indiana snuck in a goal with less than a minute to play in the first half to take a 4-3 lead into intermission.

In the third quarter, Indiana put two quick goals in the net to take a 6-3. The Crimson scored to cut the lead to two, but the Hoosiers answered to regain a three-goal lead. Harvard used the final six minutes of the game to chip away at the lead. The Crimson pulled to within one with less than two minutes to play. Price and Lizzie Abbott both got shots on the net in the closing seconds of the game, but Cassie Wyckoff of Indiana came up with two of her 16 saves to preserve the win for her team.

The Crimson takes on Bucknell, who fell to No. 12/2 seed Hartwick, 16-7, Saturday at 2:40 p.m.

Harvard 17, Gannon 3
Harvard Goals
: Monica Zdrojewski (5); Shannon Purcell (4); Devan Kennifer (2); Shayna Price (2); Aisha Price (2); Lizzie Abbott; Jamie Williams
Harvard Assists: Monica Zdrojewski (4), Elise Molnar (2), Aisha Price (2),Shannon Purcell (2), Devan Kennifer, Riley Kessler
Saves: Harvard - Shami Entenman (5, 16 minutes), Laurel McCarthy (5, 16 minutes)
Steals: Aisha Price (3), Patty Smith (2), Dean Kennifer (2), Jelena Cyr (2), Elise Molnar (2), Lizzie Abbott, Shannon Purcell, Riley Kessler, Monica Zdrojewski

No. 13 Indiana 7, Harvard 6
Harvard Goals:  Monica Zdrojewski (3); Lizzie Abbott (2); Devan Kennifer
Harvard Assists: Elise Molnar (2), Shannon Purcell, Shayna Price
Saves: Harvard - Laurel McCarthy (10)
Steals: Devan Kennifer (2), Elise Molnar (2), Shayna Price