Trio of Games Against Keystone State Foes on Weekend Slate for Women's Water Polo

Trio of Games Against Keystone State Foes on Weekend Slate for Women's Water Polo

Harvard will look to build on its 2-2 performance last weekend (Justine Agaloos). 

Scene Setter
The Harvard women's water polo team heads to Erie, Pa., for three games this weekend. The Crimson takes on Mercyhurst (10 a.m.) and Bucknell (3 p.m.) Saturday before concluding the trip at Gannon (10 a.m.) Sunday.

Last Time Out
After winning their previous two contests, Harvard went into the CWPA/MAAC Crossover with a 5-2 record. In the opening day of the event, the Crimson fell to both Wagner, 10-8, and Iona, 17-14. The Price sisters put on an offensive showcase combining for 10 goals in the two games; however, it was not enough to overcome the Seahawks' defense in the first contest and the Gaels' offense in the second. Harvard rebounded on Sunday with a pair of wins. The Crimson opened up play with a 20-10 win over Villanova, its third of the season, and concluded the event with a 20-6 victory against Siena.  Ariel Dukes saved 27 shots between the two games and set a new career high with 14 saves against Siena. Balanced scoring also helped with eight different players finding the back of the net against Villanova and nine doing it against Siena. The Crimson improved to 7-4 on the year and has now won four of its last six games.

Related Article: Balanced Scoring Pushes Women's Water Polo Past Villanova, Siena
Related Article: Harvard Women's Water Polo Comes Up Just Short Against Wagner, Iona

About Harvard
Through 11 games this season, Harvard has amassed a 7-4 overall record. With offensive outbursts from both senior co-captain Aisha Price and freshman Charlotte Hendrix, the Crimson are averaging over 15.5 goals per game in their last four contests. Hendrix tops the team in goals (33) and ranks third in assists (17). After dominating the CWPA/MAAC Crossover event, Aisha Price now leads the team in both assists (22) and steals (25) and ranks second in goals (29). Hendrix's fellow class of 2016 member Yoshi Andersen ranks third on the squad in both goals (28) and assists (18) and is third in steals (19), and junior Shayna Price is fourth on the team in both goals (20) and steals (15). On the defensive end, Ariel Dukes continues to control the goal, compiling 94 saves in net. 

The Price is Right
For the second time this season and third time in her career, Aisha Price was named the CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week for Feb. 25. The senior tallied 12 goals, 11 assists and 16 steals at the CWPA/MAAC Crossover to help the Crimson finish 2-2 at the event. She also equaled her career high in steals with six against Iona and established a new personal best with six assists against Villanova.

Related Article: Aisha Price Garners Second CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week Award

About Mercyhurst (Team Page) 
The Lakers bring a 4-3 record into the weekend, relying heavily on the leadership and talents of their upperclassmen on offense. Their top two point scorers, Lisett Calderon (23) and Callin Jope (22), are a senior and junior, respectively. On defense, Mercyhurst will look to freshman Jesse Sworden to continue her solid play in net, as she has made 65 stops through the first seven games. In their most recent outing, the Lakers beat Villanova in overtime, 9-7, and Siena, 12-10. Overall, Mercyhurst is averaging 9.14 goals per game and giving up 10 per contest.

Series History Against The Lakers
Harvard leads the all-time series against Mercyhurst, 2-0, winning both meetings played between the schools last year. In last year's games, the Crimson triumphed, 10-4 and 14-4, behind the solid goaltending of Ariel Dukes.  

About Bucknell (Team Page)
The Bison enter the weekend with a 3-2 record, playing several close games thus far, including two one-goal contests. One of the major keys to Bucknell's success has been defense, which relies heavily on junior goalkeeper Rena Heim. She currently has 49 saves on the year, and the Bison are 3-1 when the opposition is held under ten goals. Hannah Sunday paces the offense with 13 goals, while Julianne Valdes is the only other double-digit scorer on the team with 10. After handling Mercyhurst, 14-5, in its season opener, the Bison split its next four contests, defeating Brown (10-9) and Villanova (9-4) and losing to George Washington (10-9) and Marist (9-6).

Series History Against The Bison
Harvard and Bucknell have played twenty times over the past seven years, and several of those meetings were decided by a single goal. The Crimson currently leads the series 11-9, including a 6-0 stretch over the last two years. In 2012, Harvard swept the season series, 4-0, doing so by outscoring the Bison, 53-23.

About Gannon (Team Page)
The Knights are currently 1-2 in 2013 due to defensive struggles. Over the last two games, Gannon is allowing an average of 12.5 goals per game. The Knights are extremely strong out of the gates, outscoring opponents 18-4 in the first quarter; however, Gannon has struggled in the middle two periods, surrendering 22 goals while tallying 11. Bailey Gadd tops the team in goals with 10, and Rachel Bednarek ranks second with five. In net, Janelle Bartman has saved 29 shots and allowed 31 goals. The Knights were victorious over Salem International,16-6, in the season opener, but dropped its next two contests to Notre Dame (Ohio) and Virginia Military Institute.   

Series History Versus The Knights
The Crimson's first and only game against Gannon came in the 2011 season when Harvard defeated the Knights, 17-3.

Gracious Host
Blodgett Pool will serve as the host site for the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Water Polo National Championship May 10-12. It is the first time that Harvard will hold the event and only the second time it has been held on the East Coast. The last – and only other time - the event was held on the shores of the Atlantic was in 2009 when it was in Maryland.

Related Link: Harvard to Host 2013 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship at Blodgett Pool

Next Up
Harvard heads west to Santa Clara, Calif., and Davis, Calif., for four games in two days against Santa Clara, Occidental, Fresno Pacific and UC Davis.