No. 13 Women's Water Polo Falls to No. 15 Indiana, No. 8 Michigan in CWPA Opener

Balding led the offense with four goals on the day (Gil Talbot).

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 13 Harvard women's water polo team dropped its opening CWPA games Saturday at Canham Natatorium, falling to No. 15 Indiana, 10-7, in the opener before dropping a 10-5 decision to No. 8 Michigan.

No. 15 Indiana 10, Harvard 7

Indiana (16-6) took a 3-0 lead after the opening period, but Harvard (19, 6, 0-2 CWPA) cut the Hoosiers to one three times in the second half before Indiana pulled away to take the opener, 10-7.

Melissa Balding notched her third consecutive hat trick to pace the Harvard attack. Cleo Harrington led the defense with 12 stops in net.

Indiana tallied a trio of goals in the opening period, while its defense held Harvard to just three shot attempts. The Hoosiers attack continued to find the back of the net to go up by four before Michelle Martinelli capitalized on a man-up situation and Charlotte Hendrix converted on a counter to make it a 4-2 game. Harrington stopped five straight Indiana shots, including a 5-meter penalty save, but the Hoosiers snapped one in the waning seconds of the half to take a 5-2 lead at the break.

Balding made a two-goal game to open the second half before Indiana went back up by two, but Balding slotted another and Sami Strutner arched a lob shot into the back of the net to make it a one-goal game. The Hoosiers snuck one past Harvard's defense in the final minute to claim a 7-5 advantage heading into the final period.

Balding stayed hot with her third score of the game and Yoshi Andersen roped one from deep to make it an 8-7 game with just over four minutes remaining. However, Indiana would hold the Crimson in its final offensive sets and pot another two goals to sink Harvard in its CWPA opener.

No. 8 Michigan 10, Harvard 5

Harvard answered each Michigan (22-6) score early, but the Wolverines pulled away late to sink Harvard, 10-5, in its final game of the day.

The Wolverines lit the scoreboard first, converting on a lob shot to claim a 1-0 advantage at the end of the opening period.

Michigan tacked another goal to open second stanza before Balding scooped up a loose ball from 2-meters out and sent it past the keeper to put the Crimson on the board. Michigan's Ali Thomason delivered back-to-back goals until Charlotte Hendrix snapped the back of the net on a lob shot to put Harvard back within two. The Wolverines tabbed another goal to close the period as they held the upper hand at 5-2 heading into the break.

Michigan's attack stayed hot as it scored two straight goals to open the second half before Yoshi Andersen fired in a laser from deep to make it a three-goal game. The defenses proved formidable once again as the score held at 7-3 in favor of the Wolverines heading into the final period.

Martinelli and Zoe Osborne put Harvard back with two before Michigan pulled away, snapping a trio of goals to deliver Harvard its second conference loss.

Harvard will return to the pool tomorrow for its final contest of the weekend against Princeton at 9 a.m.