Final Period Comeback Thrusts No. 18 Women's Water Polo Past Brown, 9-8

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot

Hong tallied a team-best four goals on the night (Gil Talbot).

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Trailing by two heading into the final period, Michelle Martinelli completed Harvard's comeback as she netted the game-winning goal with 50 seconds remaining as the No. 18 women's water polo team eked out a 9-8 win over Brown Wednesday night at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.

With the win, Harvard tied its single-season record with 20 victories on the season.

Kristen Hong paced the offense with four goals, including three from 5-meters. Charlotte Hendrix and Melissa Balding each finished with two scores apiece, while Cleo Harrington posted five saves.

Brown (9-20, 1-3 CWPA) blanked Harvard (20-7, 1-3 CWPA) in the opening period to take a 3-0 advantage. Hendrix put the Crimson on the board to open the second period before Brown reclaimed its three-goal lead. However, Hong roped back-to-back goals to cut Brown's lead to 4-3 at the half.

Both teams exchanged goals in the third period, with Brown scorching the back of the net first before Hendrix and Hong closed the gap on the Bears lead to make it a one-goal game, but Brown pulled away to hold the upper hand at 7-5 after the third stanza.

With time winding down, Hong registered two-straight goals to reduced Brown's advantage to 8-7. Balding tied the game up with 3:01 remaining before Martinelli delivered the go-ahead goal with 50 seconds left to lift the Crimson to its first CWPA victory on the season.

Harvard will close out its regular season with a trio of CWPA contests this weekend in Princeton, New Jersey. The Crimson will open with an 11:20 a.m. matchup against Hartwick and a 6 p.m. contest against Bucknell on Saturday before facing George Washington at 1 p.m. on Sunday.