Final Period Output Pushes No. 15 Women's Water Polo Past Villanova in Princeton Invitational Finale

Final Period Output Pushes No. 15 Women's Water Polo Past Villanova in Princeton Invitational Finale

Balding netted her third four-goal output of the season (Zach Williamson).

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - With the score tied at the end of each of the first three periods, No. 15 women's water polo pushed past Villanova in the final frame, sealing an 11-9 victory in its final game of the Princeton Invitational.

Melissa Balding paced the offense with four goals, while Yoshi Andersen and Kristen Hong each netted a pair, while Andersen also dished out four helpers, and Sam Acker recorded nine stops in net.

With the win, Harvard (8-1) record its first undefeated record at the Princeton Invitational and is off to its best start to the season since 1995, when it also posted an 8-1 mark its first nine contests.

Hollis Jomo and Michelle Martinelli matched the Wildcats pair of goals in the opening period as the score held at 2-2. Balding heated up in the second frame, netting a pair of scores, while Charlotte Hendrix roped Harvard's final goal of the first half to tie the game at 5-5.

Balding scorched the back of the net to open the second half, while Rachel Lobato and Zoe Osborne got on the board. Villanova had an answer for each Harvard goal as neither team could pull away as the score remained knotted up at 8-8 heading into the final period.

The Crimson were able to break away in the final frame as Balding netted her fourth goal of the game to start the scoring output. Andersen and Hong snapped the back of the net for their second scores to seal the 11-9 victory.

Harvard will return to the pool next month as it hosts the Harvard Invitational March 5-6.