Defense Leads No. 15 Women’s Water Polo to Opening Day Sweep at Princeton Invitational

Defense Leads No. 15 Women’s Water Polo to Opening Day Sweep at Princeton Invitational

Jomo delivered the go-ahead goal against Wagner for her first score of the season (Zach Williamson).

PRINCETON, N.J. – Taking on a pair of ranked opponents its opening day of action at the Princeton Invitational, No. 15 Harvard women's water polo's defense led the way to a sweep, taking down No. 23 Cal Baptist in the opener, 8-4, and followed by edging No. 22 Wagner, 7-6.

Harvard's defense tallied two periods of shutout play on the day, while Cleo Harrington tallied 22 stops between the pipes. Kristen Hong and Michelle Martinelli led the offensive with four goals apiece.

In the opener against Cal Baptist, Yoshi Andersen tallied Harvard's lone score of the first period, making it a 1-1 game. The Crimson attack heated up as Hong, Charlotte Hendrix and Martinelli each snapped the back of the net in the second period, giving the Crimson a 4-3 advantage. Harrington and the defense shut down the Lancers attack in the third period, while Andersen and Martinelli netted their second scores of the game to further the Crimson's lead to 6-3. Hong tallied a pair of goals in the final frame as Harvard held firm to take its opener, 8-4.

In the subsequent game against Wagner, the duo of Hong and Hendrix tallied Harvard's opening goals as the score held at 2-2 after the first period. The Seahawks took the lead in the second frame, tallying another pair of scores to cling to a 4-3 lead at the half.

Melissa Balding and Martinelli opened the third period with scores to tie game up at 5-5. Hollis Jomo delivered the go-ahead goal with just under two minutes remaining in the period, scoring on the counter on a dish from Martinelli to give the Crimson its first lead of the game. Hendrix tacked on an insurance goal as Harvard took a 7-6 lead into the final frame. The one-goal lead proved to be enough as Harvard's defense recorded another shutout in the final frame to seal the 7-6 win.

Harvard will return to the pool tomorrow to take on Villanova at 11 a.m. to close out competition at the Princeton Invitational.