Women's Water Polo Dominates Mercyhurst, 12-2

Women's Water Polo Dominates Mercyhurst, 12-2

Balding led the way for Harvard with four points. (Zack Williamson)

LEWISBERG, Pa. - Harvard women's water opened its three-game road trip, Saturday afternoon, with a convincing 12-2 victory over Mercyhurst (2-3) at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium. Eight Crimson (6-4) players found the back of the net while the team also posted shutouts in three of four periods.

The first was tightly contested, ending with the Crimson ahead 2-0 thanks to goals from Yoshi Andersen and Alexis Del Toro. Harvard's offense started to gain momentum in the second period, scoring three more goals. The defense was stout again in the second shutting the Lakers out for a second consecutive period pushing Harvard's lead to 5-0.

The flood gates opened to start the third quarter as six total goals were scored. Mercy Hurst was able to net two goals in the quarter but Harvard responded with four of its own. Andersen's third period goal pushed her total to three for the game, which would prove to be her final tally. Charlotte Hendrix, Zoe Osborne and Melissa Balding also scored for the Crimson, pushing its lead to 9-2 heading in to the final frame.

Harvard did not lose a step in the fourth, posting three more goals and shutting out the Lakers for a third time. Balding scored for a third time, while Sami Strutner and Eela Nagaraj snapped the back of the net for the first time in the game.

Balding finished the game with a team-best four points on three goals and an assist. Nagaraj was a force on defense finishing with four steals. Crimson keepers Ariel Dukes and Cleo Harrington combined for seven saves as part of Harvard's strong defensive performance.

The Crimson is back in action, Sunday, March 1, against Bucknell at 9 a.m. and Hartwick at 2:15 p.m. Harvard's match with the Bison will be lived streamed HERE