Eight different student-athletes found the back of the net against the Pioneers. (Wan Grabb)
HAYWARD, Calif. – Harvard women's water polo faced off with Cal St. East Bay Wednesday night, starting the backend of its California road trip. A true team effort saw the Crimson (14-7) cruise past the Pioneers (6-12), 15-8, to end a two-game skid.
The Crimson had eight players score at least one goal in the game, led by Yoshi Andersen's four. Six players recorded at least one assist, with Alexis Del Toro and Charlotte Hendrix tallying four on the night. On the defensive end, five players registered one steal with Zoe Osborne making three, while freshman Cleo Harrington turned away 10 shots.
Harvard's offense was firing on all cylinders from the get-go, jumping out to a 5-3 lead after the first period. Kalina Grabb set the offense in motion, scoring back-to-back goals to open the quarter. The offense continued to roll in the second quarter, adding four more goals. Four different players scored in the quarter, including Andersen netting her first of the game to send Harvard in to halftime ahead of Cal St. East Bay, 9-5.
The Crimson did not let up in the second half, as the defense continued to step up. After allowing five goals in the first half, Harrington and the Crimson defense only let three find the back of the net. Andersen starred in the second half, tallying three of Harvard's six goals.
Harvard defense had its best performance in the third quarter, limiting the Pioneers to only one goal. Andersen found the back of the net twice in the period, and Melissa Balding netted her first to push Harvard's advantage to 12-6 entering the final frame. Three more goals in the fourth period secured, the Crimson's 15-8 victory.
The Crimson has a day off before its clash with No. 2 Stanford, Saturday, March 20 at 10 p.m. EST.