No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Powers Past Gannon, 17-2

No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Powers Past Gannon, 17-2

Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington stopped four Golden Knights' shots as the Crimson shut out Gannon in the second half (Gil Talbot).

– The No. 21 women's water polo team finished play at the Bison Invite with a 3-0 record, taking down Gannon by a score of 17-2 on Sunday morning. The Crimson also defeated No. 19 Wagner and George Washington Saturday.

Harvard (4-1) rolled to a double-digit victory over Gannon (0-4) for its fourth-straight win, using stellar defense to control the tempo. The Crimson allowed just two goals, the lowest total since giving up just one goal to Notre Dame (Ohio) in a 15-1 win on April 11, 2015.  Harvard has now played four consecutive games in which it has limited opponents to six goals or less.

The Crimson took control of the contest from the opening whistle, cruising to a 13-2 lead at the half by erupting for nine goals in the second quarter. The final outcome was never in doubt, as Harvard held the Golden Knights scoreless in the second half to secure the 17-2 victory.

Harvard received big contributions from a number of student-athletes. Seven different Crimson scored at least two goals, while nine players recorded an assist.

Sophomore Kristen Hong notched four goals, freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz recorded her first-career hat trick and classmate Mathilde Ribordy added two goals of her own. All three players have scored in all five contests for the Crimson this season.

Senior captain Michelle Martinelli, along with freshmen Angie Varona, Julie Harrison and Lana Gorlinski, tallied two goals apiece and an assist as well.

Martinelli's co-captain, senior Zoe Osborne, amassed two assists and three steals to lead the Crimson defense. Ribordy and Hong also collected two swipes.

Sophomore goalie Sam Acker got the start in net for the Crimson, stopping seven saves and dishing out four assists in one half of action. Junior Cleo Harrington replaced Acker for the second half, holding Gannon scoreless with four saves in the final two quarters.

Harvard women's water polo will be off for a week, before returning to action at Princeton on Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.