CLAREMONT, Calif. – A strong first half propelled the 20th-ranked Harvard women's water polo team past Pomona-Pitzer, 11-9, on Tuesday afternoon in Haldeman Pool. Three goals from junior attacker Kristen Hong and a career-high six assists from second-year Sofia Carrera-Justiz helped the Crimson (8-8) snap its four-game skid with a victory over the Sagehens (7-9) – the No. 1 ranked program in Division III.
- Hong scored three times, had one helper, and made three steals. The Orinda, Calif., native's hattrick was her sixth of the season.
- Freshman Olivia Price posted a career-high, game-high five steals. The rookie's first goal was the initial point for Harvard and her second proved to be the game-winner.
- Carrera-Justiz led the Crimson with seven points (1g, 6a), adding three steals. The Coral Gables, Fla. six assists were a career-high.
- Quinne Pursell scored twice, extending her scoring streak to four games.
- Senior attacker Sami Strutner's two points (1g, 1a) was the captain's third straight game with multiple points. Strutner added a steal to her stat sheet.
- Senior goalie Cleo Harrington registered nine saves for the third straight match.
Price opened a four-goal first quarter for the Crimson about halfway through the first period. Over the next 2:29, Pursell scored twice and Hong notched her first of the day to put Harvard up 4-0. Strutner found Hong to stretch the lead to five, before the Sagehens got on the board, 5-1, at 4:29 in the second. Lana Gorlinski responded a minute later to increase Harvard's tally, 6-1, before the half. Pomona-Pitzer clawed back with four goals in the third, before Mathilde Ribordy halted the run with her only score of the contest, 7-5. Nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Kahea Kahaulelio pulled the Sagehens within one, 7-6, but Strutner answered back 26 seconds later. Two consecutive goals from Pomona-Pitzer evened the score, 8-8, at 5:38. Moments later, Hong completed the hattrick and opened a three-goal stretch for the Crimson. Price and Carrera-Justiz each scored before the Sagehens added their final point of the day and Harvard closed out the win, 11-9.
No. 7 UC Irvine awaits Harvard on Thursday at 10 p.m. in Anteater Aquatics Complex.