No. 19 Women’s Water Polo Comes Up Short at No. 10 Princeton, 7-6

No. 19 Women’s Water Polo Comes Up Short at No. 10 Princeton, 7-6

Freshman Julie Harrison recorded her sixth goal of the season against the Tigers (Paul Rutherford).

– The No. 19 Harvard women's water polo team fell to No. 10 Princeton, 7-6, at Denunzio Pool on Saturday morning. The Crimson nearly pulled off the top-10 upset, but the Tigers used a late fourth-quarter rally to earn the victory.

Harvard (4-2) saw its four-game win streak come to an end against 10th-ranked Princeton (7-0). The Crimson battled its way back to tie the contest at 5-5 in the fourth frame, and the two teams remained knotted up with just over three minutes to play until the Tigers pulled away late.

Princeton took an early lead over the Crimson, holding Harvard scoreless over the opening frame while scoring twice to make it 2-0.

Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington continued to keep Harvard in the contest, racking up multiple clutch saves in the second quarter to keep the deficit within two. Harrington finished the contest with 11 stops and two steals.

The Crimson got on the scoreboard a couple minutes into the second frame as senior Michelle Martinelli found the back of the net. Martinelli added another goal late in the fourth quarter for her seventh tally of the season.

Princeton responded with a goal right before the three-minute mark of the second to extend the lead back to two, 3-1.

Freshman Julie Harrison helped the Crimson cut the lead back to the one before the half, taking an outlet pass from sophomore Haley Bowe and finishing for the score for her sixth goal. The Tigers held a 3-2 advantage at the intermission.

The two teams continued to battle out of the break, matching scores through the opening half of the third quarter. After a goal from Princeton, sophomore Kristen Hong answered with a goal of her own. Hong caught a pass from Martinelli and fired it quickly past the Princeton goalkeeper for her team-leading 12th goal on the year. Bowe and Martinelli each had a team-high two assists for the Crimson. 

Harvard knotted the contest up with just over two minutes to play in the third frame at 4-4 on a goal from Bowe. Bowe notched her second score of the season to help Harvard draw even.

The Tigers answered almost immediately, retaking the lead on a fortunate bounce of the crossbar as the hosts led 5-4 heading into the final quarter of play.

Freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz scored to begin the fourth quarter to tie the contest back at 5-5. The two Ivy schools found themselves dead even until just over three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, as Princeton rattled off consecutive scores to take a 7-5 lead late.

Martinelli added another score with under a minute a play, but it wouldn't be enough as the Tigers held on for the one-goal victory.