No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Returns with Trio of Matches at Princeton Invitational

Hayley Bowe and the Crimson head to California for Spring Break (Gil Talbot).
Hayley Bowe and the Crimson head to California for Spring Break (Gil Talbot).


The Princeton Invitational
Fri., Feb. 16 – Sun. Feb. 18
DeNunzio Pool


 vs. Iona
Sat., Feb. 3 / 10:30 a.m.
Harvard leads, 17-4
W, 14-6 (Jan. 27, 2018)



            vs. No. 12 Wagner
Sat., Feb. 17 / 2:15 p.m.
             Harvard trails, 9-10
L, 4-3 (March 5, 2017)

 vs. Villanova
Sun., Feb. 18 / 12:15 p.m.
            Harvard leads, 25-3
W, 11-9 (Feb. 14, 2016)









CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 21 Harvard women's water polo team resumes its season with three matches at the Princeton Invitational this weekend. The Crimson (3-2) are slated for a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17 against Marist and No. 12 Wagner (4-3). Harvard concludes the tournament on Sunday versus Villanova (0-3). The tournament will be streamed on the Ivy League Network.

The Crimson
Harvard returns from a brief hiatus after two games at the Bruno Classic on Feb. 3. The Crimson split the day, defeating No. 24 Marist, 13-3, and falling to No. 13 San Diego State, 10-8.

Sophomore Mathilde Ribordy led the Crimson with five goals at Brown. The attacker registered a hat trick against San Diego and assisted two late goals to keep Harvard in the game. Classmate Sofia Carrera-Justiz paced Harvard on both sides of the pool, posting four goals, four assists and had five steals at the tournament. Junior Kristen Hong's four goals powered the Crimson past Marist in the weekend opener. Ribordy and Hong led the team with 15 goals. Carrera-Justiz (9g, 10a) and Hong (15g, 4a) are the leading point-earners for the Crimson this season. Carrera-Jusitz also leads the squad with 12 steals.

Both Cleo Harrington and Sam Acker have seen significant action in goal this season. Acker made eight of her team-leading 35 saves against the thirteenth-ranked Aztecs. Harrington made seven stops in the win versus the Red Foxes. 

Scouting Iona
The Gaels have gone 2-7 since losing to Harvard in the season opener. At the Triton Invite last weekend, Iona lost to No. 4 UCLA, 12-1, No. 12 Indiana, 13-5, and CS East Bay, 11-8, before beating Sonoma State, 9-6.

Hannah Schultz is the leading offensive threat for the Gaels. Cap 17 leads the team with 29 points off 28 goals and has taken more than twice the shots of any teammate (87). Kayla Allen is second on the team with 23 points (16g, 7a). Devika Joshi (9g, 2a) and Jordan Van Reeken (8g, 3a) both have 11 points on the year.

Britten Vilander is the primary goaltender. In 232 minutes of game time the senior has goals against average of 11.59 and save percentage of .276 on 116 shots faced.

Iona will open the tournament versus George Washington. 

Scouting Wagner
The Seahawks are winners of four straight. Wagner opened the year with three losses to top-10 opponents, but rebounded with defeats of No. 13 Hartwick, 16-14, McKendree, 19-4, No. 13 San Diego State, 10-6, and No. 25 Bucknell, 13-10 at the Bruno Classic. The Seahawks are the Crimson's highest-ranked opponent to-date this year.

Senior utility Kimberly Watson led the team with 15 points (9g, 6a) in Providence, R.I. Watson's 200th career goal was the go-ahead score against San Diego State. Freshman goalie Katherine Campbell picked up all three wins at Brown, recording 10 saves and six steals. Freshman utility Kristy Donkin was the second biggest threat on the weekend, tallying 11 points on six goals and five assists.

Wagner will open the tournament against the Chinese National Team. 

Scouting Villanova
The Wildcats opened their season the first weekend of February at the Bruno Classic. Villanova dropped all three games it played: Bucknell, 14-7, Hartwick, 18-10, and Brown, 12-9. The Wildcats will also begin the Princeton Invitational with an exhibition against the Chinese National Team.

Senior center Dominique Clark led the Wildcats with seven goals on opening weekend. Freshman Kate Murray was second on the team with five. Juniors Maria Breen and Kate Stenmoen each scored three times.

Freshman Cory Riley started in goal against Hartwick, while classmate Rachel Jennings did so versus Brown and Bucknell. 

Follow the Leader
The Harvard captains are senior attacker Sami Strutner and senior goalie Cleo Harrington

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%). 

Championship Aspirations
Harvard continues to climb 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.

What's Next
Harvard hosts the Crimson Invitational Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4. The Crimson will play No. 18 San Jose State on day one and Siena on day two.