No. 19 Women’s Water Polo Defeated by No. 11 Princeton, 7-4

Junior Sami Strutner paced the Crimson offense with three assists against the Tigers Friday night (Paul Rutherford).

– The No. 19 Harvard women's water polo fell in its opening game at the Harvard Invite to No. 11 Princeton, 7-4, on Friday night.

The Crimson (4-3, 0-1 CWPA) found itself with an early deficit against the 11th-ranked Tigers (8-0, 1-0 CWPA) in the first game of CWPA play, and ultimately wasn't able to ever make up that ground. Princeton led 3-0 after the opening quarter and never looked back, preserving the 7-4 win over the hosts.

Harvard got on the scoreboard with two goals in the second period, as sophomores Haley Bowe and Kristen Hong tallied scores in the frame. Junior Sami Strutner set up both goals as she finished with a team-high three assists.

Princeton matched both goals in the second to take a 5-2 lead into the half. The Tigers extended its advantage in the third period, outscoring Harvard 2-1 in the frame. Senior Michelle Martinelli beat the Tigers' goalkeeper for the score on the helper from Strutner.

Harvard held Princeton scoreless in the fourth quarter and added a score from freshman Mathilde Ribordy, but the Tigers controlled the tempo to secure the three-goal victory.

Senior Zoe Osborne led the defensive efforts with three steals, while Bowe collected two of her own. Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington amassed six saves in net for the Crimson to go along with three swipes.  

Harvard returns to action with two games at the Harvard Invite Saturday, March 4. The Crimson takes on UC San Diego at 11:15 a.m., before squaring off with Marist for Senior Night at 8 p.m.