No. 19 Women’s Water Polo Falls Late to No. 21 Wagner, 4-3

Freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz recorded two assists as Harvard fell, 4-3, to No. 21 Wagner (Paul Rutherford).

– The No. 19 Harvard women's water polo team concluded play at the Harvard Invitational with a 4-3 loss to No. 21 Wagner at Blodgett Pool Sunday afternoon. The Crimson finished 1-3 in tournament play this weekend.

Harvard (5-5, 0-1 CWPA) held an early lead before a second-half scoring drought helped the Seahawks (6-9) back in the contest. The Crimson took a 3-1 lead with 6:36 to go in the second quarter but was held scoreless the remainder of the contest. Wagner took a 2-1 lead in the season series after the Crimson won the most recent game on Feb. 11.  

Wagner got on the scoreboard first with a goal at the 6:41 mark of the opening quarter. The Crimson then tied the contest up at 1-1 with 3:05 left on a goal from senior Michelle Martinelli, her sixth goal of the weekend. Freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz earned the assist on the play.

Harvard took the lead less than a minute later when sophomore Kristen Hong finished off a pass from Carrera-Justiz to the left side of the goaltender on a 4-on-3 situation for the goal. The tally also marked Hong' sixth over the four-game stretch this weekend.

Junior Sami Strutner extended Harvard's lead to two (3-1) early in the second quarter. Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington found senior Eela Nagaraj with the nice outlet pass, and Nagaraj set up Strutner for the fast-break score.

The Crimson defense played well throughout the contest, totaling 10 steals while holding Wagner to two goals over the first three quarters. The Seahawks managed to tally two goals in the fourth quarter, however, including one with 21 seconds to go, to steal the game late from the Crimson.

Harrington posted six stops in the game to go along with a steal. Martinelli led the Crimson with three steals, and Hong added two swipes of her own.

Harvard returns to action on the West Coast with a seven-game road trip in California from March 11-18.