No. 18 Women’s Water Polo Finds Pair of Wins in Season Opener

Photo Credit: Gil Talbot
Photo Credit: Gil Talbot

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.-  The No.18 women's water polo began the 2019 season with a pair of victories over Iona and Villanova. The Crimson bested the Gaels 10-7 during the morning contest before concluding the day with another double digit 20-12 win over the Wildcats.

Game 1 vs. Iona
The Crimson began the day with a 3-0 lead against the Gaels as first-year Inde Halligan scored her first career goal off a post-up before senior Haley Bowe and Sofia Carrera-Justiz followed with tallies of their own. Before moving into the second period of the play, Iona's Maeve Wydan capitalized on a five-on-six power play for the first Gaels scoring drive.

During the second and third periods, both teams continued a back-and-forth scoring banter, putting up a 7-6 mark going into the final eight minutes of play. Once again, the first-year Halligan found the back of the net during transition to open up the scoring drives. Despite an over-the-top 2-meter goal from Iona's Jordan Van Reeken, Harvard strung along two more goals from first-year Borden Wahl and senior Kristen Hong to ensure a Crimson victory.

Game 2 vs. Villanova
During the contest with the Wildcats, the Crimson continued its dominating offense recording 20 goals and 11 steals. Senior Kristen Hong tallied the first Crimson goal off a steal tabbed by sophomore Olivia Price before back-to-back goals from senior Haley Bowe and sophomore Sofia Carrera-Justiz. The Wildcats scrounged up four goals to trail Harvard 6-4 at the end of the first period.

The offensive came alive throughout the second period of play as Harvard more than doubled its score, seeing goals from Hong, Bowe, Price, Halligan and Lana Gorlinski, to exit the half up, 13-6. Villanova created an offensive push for the remainder of play, recording six more goals, but it was not enough to cut the deficit caused the by the continuous scoring counters from the Crimson. Harvard tallied its second win of the season 20-12.

Harvard Highlights

  • Newcomers Inde Halligan and Borden Wahl recorded their first Crimson goals against Iona, while Zoe Banks tabbed seven saves and an assist.
  • Seniors Kristen Hong and Haley Bowe led the charge against the Wildcats putting up a combined nine goals.
  • Olivia Price recorded four assists in the contest against Iona and three more versus the Wildcats.
  • Senior Sam Acker tallied nine saves, an assist and a steal against Villanova.

What's Next?
The Crimson continues non-conference play, setting sights on the Bruno Classic hosted by Brown on Feb. 2-3. Harvard will face Wagner, Siena and conclude the weekend with a contest against La Salle on Sunday. Broadcast will air on ESPN+.