No. 20 Women’s Water Polo Takes Fourth at CWPA Championships with 10-7 Defeat to Hartwick

No. 20 Women’s Water Polo Takes Fourth at CWPA Championships with 10-7 Defeat to Hartwick

Senior Michelle Martinelli led the Crimson with three goals against the Hawks Sunday afternoon (Paul Rutherford).

– The No. 20 Harvard women's water polo team fell in the third-place game of the CWPA Championships to No. 15 Hartwick, 10-7, Sunday afternoon. The Crimson recorded its highest finish in the conference tournament since 2000, earning fourth overall in the tournament.

Harvard (15-14, 4-4 CWPA) saw its 2017 campaign come to a close with a 10-7 defeat at the hands of Hartwick (24-10, 6-2 CWPA), as the Hawks pulled away late to preserve the victory. The Crimson still recorded its highest finish at the Easterns/CWPA Championships since 2000 (third place), defeating No. 16 Indiana, 12-11, in the quarters to clinch a spot in top-four. 

Harvard used goals from seniors Michelle Martinelli and Eela Nagaraj to stay even with Hartwick at 2-2 after the first eight minutes of action.

The Hawks scored twice to begin the second quarter before Martinelli kept it within one (4-3) with a goal at the 4:20 mark of the frame. Hartwick then rattled off three-straight scores to make it 7-3 late into the half. Sophomore Kristen Hong tallied a score for the Crimson with 24 seconds remaining to narrow the deficit to 7-4 at the break.

Freshman Mathilde Ribordy got the Crimson offense going in the second half, scoring first to bring Harvard within two. The two CWPA foes then traded goals with Martinelli collecting her third of the contest with 1:23 to go, making it 8-6 in favor of Hartwick.

Senior Zoe Osborne seemed to spark the Crimson comeback with a goal on the first possession of the fourth quarter, but Hartwick locked down and never let Harvard get any closer as they closed out the frame on a 3-0 run en route to the 10-7 win.

Junior goaltender Cleo Harrington totaled nine stops in net for Harvard, while Martinelli and Hong led defensive efforts with three steals apiece.