No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Downs No. 19 Wagner, George Washington

No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Downs No. 19 Wagner, George Washington

Senior captain Zoe Osborne had two key assists in a 5-4 win over No. 19 Wagner on Saturday afternoon (Gil Talbot).

– The No. 21 Harvard women's water polo team finished 2-0 on the opening day of the Bison Invite at Bucknell on Saturday. The Crimson took down No. 19 Wagner, 5-4, before dominating George Washington, 16-6.

Harvard (3-1) earned a tough win in its opener against the Seahawks (2-7), evening up the season series at 1-1 after a 10-5 loss to Wagner on Feb. 4. The Crimson kept its momentum going into the matchup with the Colonials (2-1), earning a double-digit win in decisive fashion.

The Crimson found itself in a defensive battle early with the Seahawks, but managed to find the back of the net twice in the first quarter.  Senior captain Michelle Martinelli and freshman Mathilde Ribordy tallied early goals to give Harvard a 2-1 advantage.

Wagner tied up the contest before the half at 3-3, outscoring the Crimson by one in quarter. Sophomre Kristen Hong scored the only goal of the quarter for Harvard.

After a scoreless third quarter, senior Zoe Osborne helped the Crimson offense find its rhythm when it needed it the most. Osborne set up Sofia Carrera-Justiz and Ribordy for two big goals in the quarter, propelling Harvard to a 5-4 victory.

Defensively, junior Cleo Harrington was dominant in net, recording 15 saves, while Ribordy led Harvard with two steals.

In the second contest against George Washington, Harvard jumped out to a 7-2 lead and never looked back. The Crimson offense was dominant throughout the contest, as five different players scored multiple goals. Harvard had a comfortable cushion throughout and it built a double-digit lead late after holding the Colonials scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Junior Sami Strutner recorded a hat trick, while Osborne, Martinelli, Carrera-Justiz and Hong all scored twice. Strutner, freshman Julie Harrison and senior Eela Nagaraj all dished out a pair of assists for the Crimson.

Sophomore goaltender Sam Acker record eight saves in goal, along with a team-high five assists and a steal. Ribordy led the defense with three steals, and Carrera-Justiz had two swipes of her own.

Harvard returns to action tomorrow for the second day of the Bison invite, squaring off with Gannon at 11:45 a.m.