No. 18 Women's Water Polo Splits Final Day of Aztec Invitational

No. 18 Women's Water Polo Splits Final Day of Aztec Invitational

Hendrix was one of nine members of the Crimson to score on the day (Zach Williamson).

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 18 Harvard women's water polo team split its final games of the Aztec Invitational Sunday at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Crimson cruised past Chapman, 16-6, in its opener before coming up short against No. 11 UC San Diego, 10-7.

Harvard 16, Chapman 6

Resuming its series since its lone contest in 1996, Harvard (12-4) picked up where it left off, using an 11-0 run in the first half to cruise to a 16-6 victory. Kristen Hong and Sami Strutner paced the offense with three goals apiece, while Sam Acker and Cleo Harrington each tallied a trio of saves in net.

Michelle Martinelli and Yoshi Andersen netted the opening goals of the game before Chapman (3-12) got on the board. Harvard's defense locked in while its offense caught fire, closing out the period with a 4-0 run to take a 6-1 lead. The Crimson's attack was unrelenting in the second period as it ripped off a 7-0 run as seven different members of the Crimson found the back of the net, pushing Harvard's lead to 13-1 at the break.

The Panthers outscored the Crimson in the third period, making it a 14-4 game. However, it was too little too late as Harvard cruised to the end, taking its second victory of the invitational, 16-6.

No. 11 UC San Diego 10, Harvard 7
 
UC San Diego (18-5) capitalized on man-up situations, tallying half of its goals on the power play to edge Harvard, 10-7, in its Aztec Invitational finale.

Colby Stapleton, Anderson and Hong each recorded a pair of goals, while Harrington tallied nine saves in net.

Melissa Balding and Stapleton bookended the opening period scoring as UC San Diego held the upper hand at 3-2. The Crimson offense was shutout in the second period, while the Tritons tacked on another trio of scores to take a 6-2 advantage at the half.

Harvard and UC San Diego exchanged goals in the third period as the score held at 8-4. UC San Diego took a five-goal lead to open the final period, but Harvard rallied late as Charlotte Hendrix, Andersen and Hong fueled a 3-0 run, putting Harvard within two at 9-7 with just over three minutes remaining. The Tritons halted the Crimson's last-minute rally, adding an insurance goal in the final seconds to sink Harvard, 10-7, to close out the invitational.

Harvard will have three days off before returning to action for a doubleheader in Northridge. The Crimson will take on CSUN at 5:30 p.m. before facing Redlands at 8 p.m.