Four Players Record Hat-Tricks as No. 21 Water Polo Defeats Villanova

Kristen Hong had a hat trick in the win over San Jose State (Gil Talbot).
Kristen Hong had a hat trick in the win over San Jose State (Gil Talbot).

PRINCETON, N.J. – Junior attacker Kristen Hong scored four times and aided three more goals in the No. 21 Harvard women's water polo team defeat of Villanova, 18-12, on Sunday afternoon at the Princeton Invitational. Sophomore Sofia Carrera-Justiz added five goals and an assist to complete the event with 17 points (12g, 5a), while freshman Quinne Pursell registered her first collegiate hat trick to help the Crimson improve to 5-3 on the year.

Highlights

  • Four players recorded hat tricks: Hong (4g, 3a), Carrera-Justiz (5g, 1a), Mathilde Ribordy (3g, 1a) and Pursell (3g, 1a).
  • Junior goaltender Sam Acker recorded nine saves through three quarters, adding four assists and a pair of steals. Senior Cleo Harrington made four stops in the fourth.
  • Junior Haley Bowe matched her career-high in steals (3) and assists (2).
  • Freshman Jilly Cronin recorded her first collegiate assist on Harvard's 11th goal.

Against Villanova
The Wildcats (0-6) got on the board first, but Ribordy put Harvard on the board and the Crimson scored four straight to gain control. Leading 5-3 after the first quarter, Harvard opened the second with a five-goal onslaught. Ribordy, Pursell, and Carrera-Justiz each posted two goals in the second to give the Crimson an 11-6 advantage at the half. Villanova outscored Harvard, 2-1, in the third, and eventually pulled within three, 14-11, in the fourth. However, a six-goal final frame from Harvard proved too much for the Wildcats.

What's Next
Harvard hosts the Crimson Invitational. The Crimson will compete against No. 18 San Jose State and Siena in Blodget Pool on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, respectively.