Women’s Water Polo Heads to George Washington for Doubleheader Saturday

Women’s Water Polo Heads to George Washington for Doubleheader Saturday

The Crimson looks to open its CWPA conference play up strong (photo courtesy: Gil Talbot). 

The Harvard women's water polo team will kick off Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division play with a trip to Washington, D.C., to take on the Colonials of George Washington Saturday, March 29 at noon, before playing a non-conference matchup against James Madison at 1:30 p.m.  

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Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network will stream the Southern Division Championship April 12-13 at Blodgett Pool. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletic events through the duration of their subscription.

Last Time Out
The Crimson played a challenging field of ranked opponents during its annual spring break trip to California, where Harvard posted a 3-7 record. The Crimson began its trip at the Aztec Invite at San Diego State University, where it downed Cal Lutheran, 10-3, before falling to No. 20 San Diego State, No. 13 UC San Diego and No. 9 San Jose State. In the second half of the trip, the Crimson defeated Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran before falling to three ranked foes, dropping matches to Whittier, No. 7 Cal State Northridge, No. 2 UCLA and No. 16 UC Santa Barbara.

Share the Wealth
Nine Crimson have reached double-figure scoring, while 14 of the 15 members of the squad have recorded at least one goal. Yoshi Andersen leads the Crimson in goals with 47, while Shayna Price isn't too far behind with 45 scores. Michelle Martinelli has buried 29 goals and Melissa Balding has added 24 to lead all first year players.

Dynamic Duo
Senior co-captain Shayna Price and sophomore Yoshi Andersen headline the Crimson offense. The two attackers have combined for 92 of Harvard's 249 goals this season. Andersen leads all scorers with 47 goals, while Price has added 45 goals. Andersen has recorded 10 hat tricks, with Price has totaled eight three-plus goal performances.

Top of the Class
Harvard's freshman class has jumped out of the gates to make an immediate impact in 2014. The group has accounted for 34.5 percent of goals (92/249), 38.1 percent of assists (58/152) and 34.1 percent of steals (72/211). Michelle Martinelli leads all first-year players with 29 goals, while Melissa Balding (24 goals) and Alexis Del Toro (21) are right behind. Zoe Osborne has chipped in seven goals while Jillian Dukes has added three scores. Del Toro leads her class with 14 assists and Osborne is on top with 17 steals.

A Familiar Field
Last season, Harvard posted a 3-3 record in Southern Division play. The Crimson defeated Mercyhurst, Bucknell and George Washington before falling to Brown twice and Princeton. The Crimson opened the 2013 Southern Division Championships with a 17-8 win over Mercyhurst before falling to Brown, 16-12. Harvard topped George Washington, 15-11 to finish the weekend in third place.

Racking up the Awards
The Crimson has won seven CWPA weekly awards this season. Most recently, Melissa Balding and Alexis Del Toro were named Co-Rookies of the Week (March 17) for their performances at the Aztec Invite. Three freshmen have earned five Rookie of the Week accolades for Harvard this season. Balding won the award March 11, Del Toro brought the honor to Cambridge on Feb. 25 and Michelle Martinelli was tabbed Rookie of the Week on Feb. 4. Yoshi Andersen picked up Player of the Week honors Feb. 4. Senior Jelena Cyr' was tabbed Player of the Week Feb. 11.
Related Link: Balding, Del Toro Named CWPA Co-Rookies of the Week

Movin' On Up
In his fourth season at the helm of the Crimson, The Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach Ted Minnis surpassed former head coach Erik Farrar (2005-10) and Jim Flerchinger (2000-03) to become the third winningest coach in program history with a 63-56 record. Minnis needs three more wins to move ahead of head coach Maureen Travers (1993-1997) who owns a 66-38 record and 18 more wins to exceed Chris Hafferty (1986-1991) who boasts an 81-28 record while at Harvard.

Taking a Look at George Washington
George Washington carries a 9-11 overall record into the weekend, after posting a 5-2 record out west. The Colonials opened its trip at the Claremont Convergence where the team posted big wins over Occidental, Chapman and Azusa Pacific and falling to Whittier. In the second half of the Colonial's trip, George Washington fell to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps before taking down Concordia and Cal Lutheran.

George Washington is led by a quartet of goal scorers. Senior Megan Brolley and sophomore Hannah Cox lead all goal scorers with 41 goals apiece, while seniors Rachael Bentley and Katherine Berry have each chipped in 33 scorers. Chandler Vilander anchors the Colonial defense as the junior has registered 118 blocks in 60 quarters throughout the 2014 season.

All-Time Against the Colonials
Harvard and George Washington will meet for the 22nd time in program history, with the Crimson owning a commanding, 20-1, lead in the all-time series results. Harvard has won the last 13 consecutives meetings with George Washington, with its last loss happening April 3, 2004.

Scouting James Madison University
It's been a rebuilding year for James Madison as the squad lost several of its starters from last season. Under new guidance, the Duke have been led by head coach Tom Fitzpatrick to a 3-5 record in the CWPA Mid-Atlantic Division. James Madison is led by Shelby Bryant, Lauren Davis and Hannah Holloway.

All-Time Against the Dukes
Harvard and James Madison will meet for the first time in program history this weekend.

Looking Ahead
Harvard travels to Providence, R.I., Wednesday, April 2 to take on Brown at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. The game is slated for 7:30 p.m.