No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Hosts Harvard Invitational, Plays No. 18 San Jose St. on ESPN3

No. 21 Women’s Water Polo Hosts Harvard Invitational, Plays No. 18 San Jose St. on ESPN3


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The Harvard Invitational
Sat., March 3 – Sun. March 4
Murr Center Blodgett Pool
2018 Harvard Invitational


 vs. Toronto
Sat., March 3 / 10:30 a.m.
Harvard leads, 1-0
W, 17-2 (Jan. 28, 2018)




           vs. No. 18 San Jose St.
Sat., March 3 / 2:30 p.m.
               Harvard trails, 0-7
L, 5-3 (March 17, 2017)

 vs. No. 15 Wagner
Sun., March 4 / 9:20 a.m.
Ivy League Network
               Harvard trails, 9-11
L, 13-9 (Feb. 17, 2018)

 vs. Siena
Sun., March 4 / 12 p.m.
Ivy League Network
               Harvard leads, 9-0
W, 16-5 (March 6, 2016)



CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Four of the Collegiate Water Polo Association's (CWPA) top-25 programs will compete at the 2018 Harvard Women's Water Polo Invitational from Saturday, March 3 to Sunday, March 4. Blogett Pool will host the 21st-ranked Crimson, No. 15 Wagner, No. 18 San Jose State and No. 22 Princeton, in addition to Brown (RV), Siena and Toronto. The entirety of the weekend slate is available to stream on the Ivy League Network.

The first day of competition will pit the Crimson against the Blues at 10:30 a.m. and the Trojans at 2:30 p.m. The afternoon match will be streamed on ESPN3. Harvard's second day at its namesake tournament features the 12th-ranked Seahawks at 9:20 a.m. and the Saints at noon.

The Crimson
Harvard is 5-3 on the year after going 2-1 at the Princeton Invitational. The Crimson beat Iona, 15-6, fell to No. 12 Wagner and topped Villanova, 18-12. The Crimson rested last weekend.

In New Jersey, Sofia Carrera-Justiz led Harvard with 17 points (15 goals, 5 assists). The sophomore is second on the team in goals (21) and blocks (3), but leads the Crimson with 15 helpers. Attacker Kristen Hong was responsible for seven points (4g, 3a) against Villanova, concluding the weekend with seven goals and five assists. Hong and sophomore Mathilde Ribordy are tied with a squad-leading 22 goals. Freshmen Quinne Pursell and Olivia Price combined for 13 points, each recording hat tricks. 

Defensively, Carrera-Justiz also lead the team in steals (16). Haley Bowe is second with nine swipes. Hong has the most blocks (four), while four players have three.

Both Cleo Harrington and Sam Acker have seen significant action in goal this season. Acker leads the team with 51 saves, is second on the squad with 11 assists, and has five steals. Harrington has made 44 saves, eight assists, and seven steals.

Scouting Toronto
The Blues are 17-15 this season. Toronto spent the month of February touring California, going 2-7 throughout the trip. Fifth-year attacker Ana Miroslavic is the leading offensive threat. The assistant captain racked up 14 goals at the Tina Finali Tournament recently. Toronto will conclude it 2018 slate with four contests in Cambridge. The Blues will play Harvard, Brown, Princeton and Siena this weekend.

Scouting San José State
The Spartans are 3-9 entering the weekend. Eleven of SJSU's games have been against ranked opponents. Eight losses came against higher-ranked opponents, while the team went 2-1 versus teams ranked lower in the CWPA poll. San José State is coming off a 1-3 performance at the Babara Kelbus Invitational. 

Guara Garcia Delgado (No. 5) leads the Spartans with 15 goals. Sheila Jensen (No. 3) and Lili Urvari (No. 19) have each found the net 14 times. Klaudia Paradi (No. 4) and Jordan Milich-Misikini (No. 9) have both scored nine times.

Katelynn Thompson and Tayler Peters have shared the majority of time in the net. Thompson has allowed 67 goals, while making 56 saves in 206 minutes of play. Peters has given up 66 goals and made 39 stops in 176 minutes of action.

San José State will open the Harvard Invitational against Brown on March 3 at 9 .m.

Scouting Wagner
The Seahawks are 7-4 this season. Wagner extended its winning streak to seven games through the Princeton Invitational last weekend. However, the Seahawks dropped a mid-week contest to No. 13 Hartwick, 18-17. The loss moved the Seahawks to 4-4 against ranked opponents, with all four losses being against higher-ranked teams. Wagner defeated Harvard, 13-9, in Princeton. 

Senior captain Kimberly Watson continues to power the Seahawk offense. The utility player scored eight times on the final day at the Princeton Invitational, adding to her four goals from day one.

Wagner kick-off the Harvard Invitational against Princeton on Saturday, March 3 at 4 p.m.

Scouting Siena
The Saints have lost five straight and are 1-8 this year. Senior Clare Byrar (No. 8) is the leading point-getter for Siena. The two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week lead the team in goals and steals. Siena begins the weekend with a meeting against Brown on Saturday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m.

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 travels to the San Diego Invitational on Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11. The Crimson will play No. 14 San Diego State, No. 5 Hawaii, No. 19 Cal State Northridge, and No. 15 UC San Diego.