Women’s Water Polo Sweeps First Day of Harvard Invite

The Crimson pushes its win streak to seven. (Zack Williamson)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's water polo opened play at the Harvard Invite, Saturday, taking both its matches. The Crimson (10-4) defeated CWPA opponent, Connecticut College (0-2) and Marist (5-7) in the first day of action.

Harvard started its homestand with an early morning match up with Connecticut College. The Crimson wasted no times jumping out to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter. Charlotte Hendrix and Yoshi Andersen lead the way with two goals apiece.

The Crimson continued to dominate the Camels, scoring 11 straight goals over the next two quarters without allowing a single goal. The final quarter did not see much action with the game ending 16-2 in favor of the Crimson. Five players scored multiple goals in the match, while reigning co-Defensive Players of the Week, Ariel Dukes and Cleo Harrington combined for five saves.

Harvard returned to the pool for an evening battle, an overtime thriller with Marist. After the first quarter, the Crimson and Red Foxes where noted up at 2-2. The second quarter was tightly contested with Harvard taking a slim, 3-2 lead behind a goal from sophomore Melissa Balding, but Marist then responded in the third quarter, shutting out the Crimson and taking a 5-3 lead.

Down by two in the final frame, Harvard stepped up to force overtime. With time running out, the score stood at 7-6 in favor of the Red Foxes, but Balding was able to score her second goal of the match to force overtime.

Harvard shined in overtime, especially senior netminder Dukes. The first overtime was tense with neither team scoring, thanks to key saves from Dukes, sending the match to a second overtime. Goals from Balding and Zoe Osborne keyed Harvard to its gutsy 9-7 victory. Balding led the offense with three goals, while Dukes finished the game with an astounding 20 saves.

The Crimson is back in action, Sunday, March 7, with an 8 a.m. clash with No. 9 San Jose State and VMI at 2:15 p.m.