Women's Water Polo Gears up for CWPA Southern Division Championships

Women's Water Polo Gears up for CWPA Southern Division Championships

Price has registered 48 goals, 21 helpers and 30 assits (photo courtesy: Gil Talbot).

Scene Setter
The Harvard women's water polo team will host the 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Southern Division championships as the Crimson begins its postseason play. Harvard enters the weekend as the No. 4 seed and will face George Washington at 2:30 p.m. in its first game before taking on defending Southern Division champion Princeton at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Watch It Live!
The Ivy League Digital Network will stream the CWPA Southern Division Championships 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.


Seeding the Field
The six-team conference will be divided into two divisions based on the regular season standings. Fourth-seeded Harvard is in Bracket A with regular season champion and No. 1 Princeton and No. 5 George Washington, while No. 2 Bucknell is paired with No. 3 Brown and No. 6 Mercyhurst in Bracket B.

Schedule of Events
For the complete schedule, please click here. 

2013 Southern Division Championships
One season ago, Harvard traveled to Brown as the tournament's third seed. In the opener, the Crimson took down Mercyhurst, 17-8, before dropping a 16-12 decision to Brown. In the third place game, Harvard powered past George Washington, 15-11, to earn a berth into the CWPA Eastern Championships.

Top seed Princeton edged No. 2 Brown in the championship game, 12-4, to win the CWPA Southern Division championship.

Last Time Out
Harvard headed to Lewisburg, Pa., to conclude its regular season with three conference games. The Crimson posted a 1-2 mark.

Harvard dropped a hard fought, 7-6, decision to Bucknell to open the weekend before falling to No. 9 Princeton, 8-4. The Crimson returned to the pool Sunday to best Mercyhurst, 13-6. Yoshi Andersen paced the Crimson offense with seven goals, including a five-goal performance against Mercyhurst. Melissa Balding chipped in two goals against Bucknell and a hat trick of her own in the lone win of the weekend. Ariel Dukes finished with 14 saves and four steals.

Related Link: Women's Water Polo Falls to Bucknell, 7-6, and No. 9 Princeton, 8-4
Related Link: Fast Start Carries Women's Water Polo Past Mercyhurst, 13-6

Share the Wealth
Ten Crimson student-athletes 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 65, while Shayna Price isn't too far behind with 48 scores. Melissa Balding has chipped in 33 goals, while Michelle Martinelli has buried 32 goals.

Fantastic Four
Senior co-captain Shayna Price, sophomore Yoshi Andersen and rookies Michelle Martinelli and Melissa Balding headline the Crimson offense. The quartet of attackers has combined for 178 of Harvard's 292 goals (.609).

Hat Trick Heroes
Harvard has notched 28 hat tricks this season with Yoshi Andersen contributing 10, while Shayna Price has eight and Melissa Balding has registered four.  Jelena Cyr and Alexis Del Toro each have two games with three tallies to their credit this season and Charlotte Hendrix and Michelle Martinelli have one three-plus goal performances this season.

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 25.6 percent of goals (104/292), 39.2 percent of assists (69/176) and 35.5 percent of steals (92/259). Melissa Balding leads all first-year players with 33 goals, while Michelle Balding (32) and Alexis Del Toro (24) are right behind. Zoe Osborne has chipped in nine goals and Jillian Dukes has added three scores. Del Toro leads her class with 18 assists and Martinelli and Osborne each had 21 steals.

Honor Roll
The Crimson has won nine CWPA weekly awards this season. Most recently, Yoshi Andersen and Ariel Dukes took home Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively. It marks the second time Andersen has been honored by the CWPA with her first accolade coming Feb. 4, while this is the first time Dukes has been recognized.  Senior Jelena Cyr was tabbed Player of the Week Feb. 11. Balding earned Rookie of the Week nods March 11 and 17, Del Toro brought the honor to Cambridge Feb. 25 and March 17 and Michelle Martinelli was tabbed Rookie of the Week Feb. 4.
Related Link: Andersen Earns Second CWPA Weekly Award; Dukes Named Defensive Player of the Week

Movin' On Up
In his fourth season at the helm of the Harvard program, 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 65-59 record. Minnis needs two more wins to move ahead of head coach Maureen Travers (1993-1997) who owns a 66-38 record while at Harvard.

Looking Ahead
The top finishers from the CWPA Southern Division championships will advance to the CWPA Championships at Bucknell April 25-27 with a NCAA berth at stake.