The Crimson to face four ranked opponents on the West Coast. (Zack Williamson)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's water polo heads out west for its annual California road trip March 15-22. The Crimson will play eight matches in eight days against some of the best competition in the nation. Harvard's first match will be against Sonoma State, Sunday, March 15 at 4 p.m. EST.
Last Time Out
The Crimson is coming off a successful weekend as hosts of the Harvard Invite. Harvard took three of four games with wins over Connecticut College, Marist and VMI.
Two of the Crimson's three wins came in tightly contest games. Harvard took the Red Foxes to double-overtime, shutting out Marist in both overtime periods, and winning out 9-7. Zoe Osborne led the offense with two goals and three assists for the Crimson. On the defensive end, senior co-captain Ariel Dukes turned away 20 shots in the victory.
In the final match of the weekend, the Crimson and VMI went down to the wire with Harvard edging the Keydets, 12-11. Melissa Balding and reigning CWPA Player of the Week, Yoshi Andersen scored three goals each with Charlotte Hendrix netting two goals of her own and tallying three assists.
About Sonoma St.
The Seawolves currently hold a 6-12 overall record. Sonoma St., which is coming of a strong weekend with four wins, is led by Noello Herrera, who has found the back of the net 18 times this season. The Crimson and the Seawolves have previously met once in 2009 with Harvard coming out on top, 8-7.
About Fresno Pacific
Fresno Pacific is 5-13 overall in 2015. The Sun Birds recently broke a five-game losing streak with a 9-3 win over Occidental. Fresno Pacific will play four games at the Lancer Invitational against familiar foes VMI, Iona and St. Francis before taking on the Crimson. Harvard leads the all-time series 3-0, taking the last game 16-6 in 2013.
About No. 11 UC-Davis
Now in to the back-end of their schedule, the Aggies are 11-9 overall. UC-Davis is currently on a three-match win streak with wins over then-No. 17 Wagner and then-No. 14 Pacific. The Aggies are led by Allyson Hansen (27 goals and 11 assists) and Ariel Arcidiacono (22 goals and 16 assists), who have both amassed 38 points this season. The Crimson trails the Aggies 6-0 in the all-time series.
About No. 15 Pacific
The Tigers currently hold a 6-7 overall record. Pacific has faced 10-consective ranked teams going 5-4. Senior Anna Kertes leads the Tigers with team-highs in goals (21) and assists (23). The Crimson trails the Pacific 3-0 in the all-time series.
About Cal St. – East Bay
Cal St. – East Bay is 6-11 overall in 2015. The Pioneers are currently on a two-game skid, losing to upcoming Crimson opponents UC-Davis and Santa Clara. The Pioneers' Taylor Cross leads the team in goals with 22, while Casey Rushforth has assisted on a team-high 21 goals. The Crimson leads the all-time series, 2-1, with Cal St. – East Bay winning the last meeting, 12-8 in 2013.
About No. 2 Stanford
The top-ranked Cardinal holds an overall record of 14-1. Its only loss of the season came against UCLA, falling 7-6 in overtime. Stanford boasts two players who have surpassed the 30-goal mark this season in Kiley Neushul (33) and Ashley Grossman (31), and teammate Maggie Steffens is not far behind with 27. The Cardinal leads Harvard in the all-time series, 4-0.
Cal St. – Monterey Bay
Through 16 games, the Otters are 5-11 overall. The Otters have momentum coming into the weekend, having won three of the last four games. Five Cal St. – Monterey Bay players have scored double-digit goals this season, led by Samantha Whitecotton's 14 goals and team-high 11 assists. The Crimson leads the all-time series, 2-1, with the Otters taking the last match up, 12-11, back in 2011.
About No. 19 Santa Clara
Santa Clara owns a 12-8 overall record in 2015. The Broncos are on a two-game losing streak, falling to 2015 Crimson opposition Pacific and Wagner. Santa Clara is led by Julia Peters, who has contributed in both phases of the game with a team-high 28 goals, 10 assist and 19 steals. Harvard leads the all-time series, 3-1, with the Broncos winning the last match, 9-7, at Blodgett Pool.
The Crimson will be back in the pool for a doubleheader, Monday, March 16 against Fresno Pacific at 3 p.m. EST and UC-Davis at 7 p.m. EST.