No. 20 Women’s Water Polo Downed by No. 9 Pacific, 9-5

No. 20 Women’s Water Polo Downed by No. 9 Pacific, 9-5

Junior Cleo Harrington totaled 12 saves in net for the Crimson Wednesday (Gil Talbot).

STOCKTON, Calif. – The No. 20 Harvard women's water polo team was defeated by No. 9 Pacific, 9-5, at Chris Kjeldsen Pool on Wednesday evening. 

Harvard (7-8, 0-1 CWPA) was deadlocked with the ninth-ranked Tigers (11-7) at 2-2 after the first frame and only trailed by one at the half (4-3), but a third quarter scoring drought cost the Crimson a chance at the top-10 upset.

The Crimson jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an early score from junior Sami Strutner off the feed from sophomore Haley Bowe. Harvard made it a two-goal advantage just 30 seconds later as sophomore Kristen Hong found the back of the net. 

Pacific scored three unanswered goals after Hong's goal, taking the lead in the early goings of the second quarter at 3-2.

Harvard then drew even at 3-3 on senior Michelle Martinelli's goal off the setup from Hong with 5:36 to go in the second quarter. The Tigers added one more goal before the intermission to take a 4-3 lead at the half.

Pacific took control of the contest in the third quarter, outscoring the Crimson, 2-0, and opening up a 6-3 advantage. Harvard rallied for two goals in the fourth frame, but the Tigers never let the lead get closer than three (8-5) as it earned the 9-5 victory.

Freshman Lana Gorlinski scored on a man-up opportunity in the fourth quarter, taking the pass from classmate Sofia Carrera-Justiz and finishing for the goal. Hong chipped in her second tally on the day with less than a minute to play to cap off the scoring for Harvard.

Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington recorded 12 saves, marking her third double-digit save total on the year. Harrington also registered two assists and a steal.

The Crimson concludes its California road trip with contests against No. 14 San Jose St. Friday at 9 p.m. EST and Santa Clara Saturday at 4 p.m. EST.