Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- The Harvard women's water polo team picked up its first Northern Division victory of the 2010 season. The Crimson defeated Brown 7-6 in overtime Wednesday night at Blodgett Pool. The win snaps Harvard's 11 match losing streak to the Bears and is the first victory over Brown since 2006. Harvard improves to 12-10 on the season overall and 1-1 in the CWPA Northern Division. Brown falls to 18-12 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
The Crimson trailed 2-1 after the opening quarter. Neither team could get more than a two-goal lead in the contest. The two squads were tied 4-4 entering the fourth quarter. Harvard jumped out to a two-goal advantage as Ita Barton-Kettleborough notched a power play goal. Brown got two quick goals to knot the game at 6-6. The Crimson buckled down on defense and came up with a couple of huge stops in the final minute. Harvard gained its composure and went for the win. The Crimson drew up a play to get the last shot of regulation. Patient ball movement lead to an opportunity with less than five seconds remaining. The ball got dropped into the center where Devan Kennifer managed to get off a sweep shot that ricocheted off the post, sending the game to bonus water polo.
In the first overtime period, neither team could find the back of the net as both goalkeepers turned in stellar performances throughout the game. With 1:50 left in the second overtime session, Harvard drew a much-needed ejection. Monica Zdrojewski capitalized on the man-advantage, scoring what would prove to be the game-winning goal with just over a minute to play. The Crimson thwarted the Bears' attack to close out the game and earn its first Northern Division victory of the season.
Elise Molnar and Zdrojewski lead the way with a pair of goals each. Lizzie Abbott, Barton-Kettleborough and Kennifer all buried a marker in the win. Sophomore netminder Laurel McCarthy played a magnificent game between the pipes, turning aside six shots.
Harvard returns to action this weekend with a pair of Northern Division contests. The Crimson will host Hartwick, April 17, at Blodgett Pool. Harvard will take on Brown April 18 in a road contest to close out the regular season.