The Bruno Classic
vs. No. 24 Marist
vs. No. 13 San Diego St.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 19 Harvard women's water polo team will continue its season against a pair of ranked opponents this weekend at the Bruno Classic. The Crimson (2-1) will face No. 24 Marist (0-6) and No. 13 San Diego State (0-0) on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10:20 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center at Brown University. The entirety of the Bruno Classic is available to stream via the Ivy League Network.
Harvard opened the season at the Hoosier Invitational. The Crimson beat No. 25 Iona, 14-6, and McKendree, 19-6, but fell to No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, 8-5. Nine players scored throughout the weekend where Harvard shot 38-for-76 (.500) and was 9-of-20 (.450) on power plays.
Junior Kristen Hong led all players with 13 points and 10 goals, while her three assists were tied for fourth. Sophomore Mathilde Ribordy ranked third at the invitational with seven goals and freshman Olivia Price was eighth with five scores. Sophomore Sofia Carrera-Justiz accumulated the second most assists of the weekend (4) and totaled seven points (3g, 4a).
Harvard's defense limited its opponents to 20 goals on 84 shots (.238) and three power play goals on 13 chances (.231). Senior net-minder Cleo Harrington racked up 20 saves in two games and finished second among all players with a .645 save percentage. Junior goalie Sam Acker tallied 19 saves and was second in save percentage (.654).
The Red Foxes are a deceptive 0-6 this season. Each of their opponents has been ranked. Four in the CWPA top 10. At the Michigan Invite last weekend, Marist lost to No. 8 Michigan, 9-6, No. 13 Hartwick, 12-9 and No. 4 UCLA, 18-8. The Red Foxes have also played No. 6 Hawaii, No. 4 Cal and No. 22 Loyola-Marymount.
Grace Doerfler has scored in each game this season. Susan Cantoni and Lauren Smith are other leading offensive threats. Goaltenders Jessica Hermosillo and Hope Vickers have shared time in net for the Red Foxes.
Scouting San Diego State
The Aztecs begin their season in Providence. In tune-up matches, SDSU has lost to the Chinese National Team, 16-9, and an Aztec alumnae group, 8-7. The Crimson will be the first official test of the year. Like Harvard, San Diego State's lineup is youth-filled.
Departed from the 2017 SDSU lineup are leading-scorers Caroline Israels (67g, 42a), Ioli Benekou (48g, 22a), and Alyssa Diacono (43g, 11a). Additionally, more than 800 minutes of experience in net left with goaltender Kate McDonnell (237 saves, 8.64 GAA). Hannah Carillo is the leading point-earner leftover from last season. The junior driver had 30 goals, 31 assists and 28 steals.
San Diego State was picked to finish second in the Golden Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, second only to four-time defending champion Pacific. The Aztecs also were regarded as the No. 12 team in the 2017 CWPA Preseason Poll.
And the Award Goes To...
Freshman Olivia Price was named the CWPA Rookie of the Week on Wednesday night. Price's five goals tied for eighth most at the Hoosier Invitational. The freshman's first collegiate goal was Harvard's first of the season, coming at 44 seconds into the season-opener vs. No. 25 Iona. Price returned to contribute four more goals and a steal vs. McKendree, concluding the tournament with six points (5g, 1a). Junior Kristen Hong and senior Cleo Harrington received Honorable Mention recognitions for CWPA Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively.
The Crimson program has continued to rise under the tutelage of the Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach Ted Minnis. Harvard finished last season with its highest-ever final national ranking (No. 15) following an appearance in a CWPA Championship Semifinal after defeating No. 16 Indiana.
Class of 2020
Four new faces appear in the Harvard lineup this season: Jilly Cronin, Quinne Pursell, Olivia Price, and Remedy Ryan. Pursell and Price are attackers, while Ryan is a 2-meter player, and Cronin is listed as utility personnel.
And Now My Watch Has Ended…
The Crimson graduated Michelle Martinelli, Zoe Osbore and Eela Nagaraj in 2017. Martinelli received a CWPA All-America honorable mention after racking up 46 goals, 23 assists and 23 steals in her final campaign. Osborne led Harvard with 36 steals, while also recording 23 goals and 27 assists. Nagaraj tallied 10 goals, 14 assists, and 16 steals in her last season. The graduated players accounted for roughly one-third of the Crimson offense (30.3%) and more than a quarter of steals (26.9%).
Harvard is climbing the championship ladder. The Crimson finished fourth in the conference in 2016-17, improving upon sixth place finishes in each of the two seasons prior. Harvard eliminated No. 16 Indiana in the quarterfinal round.
Harvard plays two games against Princeton. The Crimson will face the Iona Gaels Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. and the Wagner Seahawks on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:15 p.m.