Freshman Mathilde Ribordy was active on the defensive end with at least one steal in all seven matches for the Crimson during its road trip (Paul Rutherford).
|No. 20 Harvard at Mercyhurst
March 25, 2017 / 6 p.m.
Mercyhurst North East Aquatic Center
Harvard leads, 8-0
W, 17-4 (March 5, 2016)
|No. 20 Harvard vs. Gannon
March 26, 2017 / 9 a.m.
Mercyhurst North East Aquatic Center
Harvard leads, 3-0
W, 17-2 (Feb. 12, 2017)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 20 Harvard women's water polo returns to action on the East Coast after a week-long California road trip for a pair of matches against Mercyhurst and Gannon in Erie, Pennsylvania. The Crimson takes on Mercyhurst Saturday, March 25 at 6 p.m., before squaring off with Gannon for the second time this year on Sunday, March 26 at 9 a.m.
Last Time Out
Harvard (8-9, 0-1 CWPA) earned its third win on its seven-game road trip with an overtime victory over Santa Clara last Saturday. The Crimson battled back from a 5-4 deficit after the third quarter, scoring four goals in the fourth to send the game to overtime, before winning in the second three-minute OT. Junior Sami Strutner registered the game-winner to help Harvard secure the one-goal victory.
Harvard was tested throughout its California trip, taking on four teams ranked in the top-15 of the country. Harvard battled No. 4 Cal, No. 9 Pacific, No. 10 UC Davis and No. 14 San Jose St. The Crimson finished the trip on a high note, downing Santa Clara to move to 3-4 on the week.
Senior Michelle Martinelli, sophomore Kristen Hong and freshman Sofia Carrera-Justiz all found their offensive grooves on the West Coast. All three players recorded goals in at least five of the seven contests. Hong and Sofia Carrera-Justiz totaled 13 goals and Martinelli tallied eight over the stretch.
Freshman Mathilde Ribordy showed her defensive prowess last week, notching at least one steal in every game for the Crimson in California. Ribordy totaled 12 swipes, including three in wins over Fresno Pacific and Santa Clara. She leads Harvard with 25 takeaways on the year.
Lucky Number '3'
Carrera-Justiz, who wears the number three cap for Harvard, scored three consecutive hat tricks on the trip. The rookie netted three goals against Sonoma St., UC Davis and Fresno Pacific in consecutive games from March 12-14. She currently ranks second in goals for Harvard behind Hong's 31 with 26 tallies.
Harvard readies for the bulk of CWPA conference play after these two games at Mercyhurst. Harvard concludes regular season action with seven-straight conference games, followed by the CWPA Championship at Indiana, April 28-30.
Harvard has shown the ability to shut down its opponent's offensive attack on a regular basis. The Crimson has recorded 12 games when its opponents have scored in single digits, including allowing just two goals in a 17-2 thrashing of Gannon Feb. 12. The pair of goals marked the lowest total since giving up just one goal to Notre Dame (Ohio) in a 15-1 win on April 11, 2015.
The Crimson attack has shown the ability to score in bunches, totaling at least nine goals in two different quarters this season. Harvard rattled off 10 goals in the second quarter of a 13-6 win against Iona on Feb. 4, along with a nine-goal outburst in the second frame against Gannon Feb. 12.
Mercyhurst enters play this weekend with a 3-10 mark this season. The Lakers have lost its last three contests after rattling off three-straight wins at the Penn State Behrend Invitational. Mercyhurst fell to CWPA schools George Washington and Saint Francis (PA) in its most recent action.
Gannon boasts a 6-9 record this season, including an earlier loss to the Crimson by a 17-2 margin on Feb. 12. Since that loss, Gannon has shown a lot of improvement with a 6-5 mark. The Golden Knights had a stretch at the Penn State Behrend Invite and George Washington Invitational when it won four of five, before dropping its last two matches to Virginia Military Institute and George Washington University.