Senior Lizzie Abbott has helped Harvard to a 4-2 start with six goals, three assists and five steals (photo courtesy Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's water polo team travels to the MAAC/East Challenge in Princeton, N.J. Feb. 25-26. The Crimson will square off against Wagner, Villanova and Iona to conclude a run of seven consecutive games at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool.
The Crimson (4-2), which has won at least four of its first six for the third consecutive season, is paced by a pair of aggressive goal-scorers and a team effort on the defensive end. Aisha Price and Devan Kennifer, a two-time All-America selection, lead Harvard on the offensive side. Aisha Price has tallied 19 goals, while Kennifer has added 17 tallies and a team-high 10 assists. Defensively, ten Harvard players have registered five or more steals, led by Kennifer with 23, as the Crimson is allowing just 6.7 goals per contest. Ariel Dukes has made 36 saves in four games and Jasmine Griffin has stopped 17 shots in two starts.
Last Time Out
Harvard won three out of four at the Princeton Invitational Feb. 11-12 with wins over Bucknell, Villanova and Colorado State. Aisha Price, who leads Harvard with 19 goals, was named the College Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Player of the Week after an impressive weekend at the tournament. The junior found the back of the cage 13 times, scoring at least two goals in each contest, and added four assists and 10 steals during the four games.
Senior co-captain Chelsea Beck scored 20 goals during four games at the Bucknell Invitational Feb. 18-19 to earn MAAC Player of the Week honors, but the Seahawks (4-7) dropped three of four at the tournament. Beck, a senior from Reading, Pa., leads Wagner with 24 goals this season, while Senior Becca Hannings has added 19 assists. Junior Laura Karbach has played all 11 games in goals, totaling 25 steals and saving 10 shots per contest.
The Wildcats (0-7) are a familiar foe for Harvard this season, as the two teams have met twice in 2012. The Crimson downed Villanova, 13-1(recap), in the second game of the season and 14-3 (recap) at the Princeton Invitational Feb. 25.
The Gaels (2-0) have been off since Feb. 4 when Iona swept a pair of games at its own invitational. Iona built a 13-8 lead entering the final frame in the second matchup of the tournament before Harvard tallied six goals in the last eight minutes, but the Gaels added two of its own and the Crimson's comeback bid fell one goal short as time expired.
The Crimson will host four of five scheduled home games next weekend at the Harvard Invitational March 2-4. Harvard's only other contest at Blodgett Pool is April 10 against Hartwick.