Balding nets four in the Crimson's big win. (Zack Williamson)
SONOMA, Calif. – Harvard women's water polo opened its California road trip against Sonoma St. (7-13) Saturday afternoon earning a 14-4 victory. Sophomore Melissa Balding led the way for the Crimson (12-5) with a game-high four goals.
Harvard came out strong in both phases of the game, taking a 4-0 lead. Four different student-athletes found the back of the net for the Crimson in the high-scoring first period.
The second period saw Harvard's offense continue to click, firing home four more goals. Balding starred in the period with two goals, pushing her total to three for the first half. Charlotte Hendrix also scored her second of the night. The Seahawks pushed back in the second, scoring three of their own and cutting the Crimson lead to 8-3 at the half.
The Crimson pulled away in the third period, however, scoring five more goals. Balding netted her game-high fourth goal, while Victoria Frager scored her second of the game. Sonoma St. was only able to muster one goal, with the Crimson pushing its advantage to 13-4.
The final frame saw strong defense from both sides with the Crimson shutting out the Seahawks for the second time in the game. Freshman Sami Strutner scored Harvard's sole goal of the quarter, securing the 14-4 victory.
Harvard is back in action tomorrow, Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m. against Fresno Pacific.