Iona Slips Past Harvard Women's Water Polo in Sudden-Death Frame

Iona Slips Past Harvard Women's Water Polo in Sudden-Death Frame

Senior co-captain Monica Zdrojewski and the Crimson are 8-5 overall this season (photo courtes Harvard Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Crimson women's water polo team finished the Harvard Invitational with a loss at the hands of Iona at Blodgett Pool Sunday afternoon. The Gaels nipped Harvard, 12-11, in sudden-death overtime.

Harvard (8-5) led by as many as four goals during the contest, but timely scoring by Iona (4-3) put the Gaels back in the game. Iona had the last chance in regulation, putting a shot from nine meters off of the post to send the match to overtime.

With the score knotted at nine, the teams were set to play two three-minute overtimes, per NCAA regulations.

Each team had multiple defensive stops during the first overtime frame, until Harvard found the back of the cage for the only score of the period. The Crimson and Gaels then switched offensive sides during the break, as Harvard held on to a 10-9 advantage.

Harvard's Shayna Price gave the squad a two-goal lead in the second overtime, as the sophomore netted a score with just over two minutes remaining. Iona quickly answered with a score of its own with 1:48 left to put Harvard's lead back at one.

The Crimson took possession and ran the 35-second clock as much as possible, before firing a shot that Iona's goalie tipped out of play. With a fresh 35-second clock and just over a minute remaining on the clock, Harvard stalled out the shot clock to give Iona limited amount of time to get a tying goal.

The Gaels took over with 32 seconds to play in what was almost certainly going to be the last possession of the game, needing a score to send the game to sudden-death overtime. Iona got the tally it need in the form of a backhand shot from the middle of the pool that snuck past the right hand of Harvard goalie Ariel Dukes, and barely by inside the post to tie the score. Despite 12 seconds of time remaining, The Crimson could not muster a shot as the stanza expired.

Iona won possession at the start of the fourth frame and quickly ended the contest with the golden goal in the first 34 seconds. The Gaels used a lob shot over Dukes that landed tightly into the back corner to mark the final score.

The win gives Iona two victories over Harvard this season, as the Gaels have a 2-1 advantage in the series in 2012. The Crimson edged Iona, 14-13, in sudden death overtime Feb. 26.

The Crimson continues the regular season with a trip to California March 11-17. Harvard will play five games in six days against some of the nation's toughest competition.