ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 13 Harvard women's water polo team fell short to No. 16 Princeton, 9-7, in its final game of its opening weekend of CWPA play Sunday at Canham Natatorium.
Michelle Martinelli paced Harvard's (19-7, 0-3) attack with a hat trick, while Yoshi Andersen and Zoe Osborne each tallied a goal apiece. Cleo Harrington fueled the defensive end with nine saves in between the pipes.
Melissa Balding snapped the back of the net on a one-timer from Martinelli to put Harvard on the board first. Princeton (14-7) responded as it netted back-to-back goals before Osborne snapped her own pair to even the score at three. The Tigers took the lead at 4-3 with two second left to close out the opening period.
Following a pair of goals by Princeton to start the second period, Martinelli broke the Tigers run as she delivered a skip shot from deep to put Harvard back within two, but the Tigers struck again at the buzzer to claim a 7-4 advantage at the half.
Princeton furthered its lead to four, taking advantage of a power play before Harvard converted on its own man-up situation as Andersen slotted two straight to make it an 8-6 game at the end of the third period.
The Tigers converted on a five-meter penalty shot midway through the fourth to further its advantage to three, but Harvard took advantage of the power play once again as Martinelli registered her third score with just under two minutes remaining, but Princeton held on for the win.
Harvard will stay on the road as it returns to action at Brown April 13 for a 7:30 p.m. contest.