Women's Water Polo Opens Season 2-0 After Overtime Thriller

Women's Water Polo Opens Season 2-0 After Overtime Thriller

Andersen led the Crimson to two victories including an overtime win against Iona (photo courtesy: Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's water polo team notched two wins it the opening day of its 2014 season at the Villanova Invitational. The Crimson downed host Villanova, 17-9, before edging Iona, 16-15.

The opening quarter proved to be a battle and forth battle between the Crimson and the Wildcats. Villanova took a quick two-goal lead before Shayna Price put the Crimson on the scoreboard with 5:39 to go. Yoshi Andersen kept the game close as she put in two goals 20 seconds apart to make it a, 4-3, game heading into the second quarter.

Harvard opened the second frame on fire as the Crimson buried five goals to extend its lead, 8-4. Michelle Martinelli, Melissa Balding and Charlotte Hendrix each tallied a goal apiece while Price had two. Villanova closed the gap with 26 seconds remaining in the first half when Sarina Shibata slipped the ball past Ariel Dukes.

Andersen opened the scoring for the Crimson in the third stanza as the Crimson continued to run away from with the game. Zoe Osborne, Victoria Frager, Hendrix and Martinelli each registered a goal to give the Crimson a seven-goal lead with one quarter to go.

In the final frame, Price, Alexis Del Toro and Balding found the back of the net to help secure the first win of the season for the Crimson. Price (four goals) and Andersen (three goals) led the scoring efforts, while Dukes finished the game with eight saves.

In the second game of the day, Harvard faced Iona. The Gaels got off to a quick start, outscoring the Crimson, 9-5, after two frames.

After falling behind, 3-0, Andersen finally got the Crimson on the scoreboard with 2:56 to go in the first eight minutes. Martinelli and Price each tallied scores for Harvard to keep it a two-goal game. 

Harvard got the scoring started in the second as Frager found the back of the net 3:11 into the quarter to make it a one-goal game. Iona responded with two quick goals before Rachel Lobato recorded her first score of the day. 

Harvard and Iona each scored two goals in the third quarter as the Gaels held onto its, 11-7, lead. Balding and Frager contributed a goal each for the Crimson.

The fourth quarter proved to be the difference as Harvard outscored Iona, 6-2, to even the score at 13 and force an extra frame. Andersen buried three goals in the fourth as Kalina Grabb, Martinelli and Price each had one to help knot the score.

In the first extra frame, Iona's Allison Peotter scored first before Hendrix found the back of the net with four seconds remaining to push the game into a second extra frame. Andersen and Price each tallied a goal in the sixth frame to give the Crimson its second win of the season. Dukes finished the game with 7 saves.

The Crimson returns to action Feb. 22-23 as it hosts the Cross Over event at Blodgett Pool.