Tough Start at Aztec Invitational for No. 20 Women’s Water Polo

Tough Start at Aztec Invitational for No. 20 Women’s Water Polo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 20 Harvard women's water polo team lost its opening contests at the 2018 Aztec Invitational on Saturday. The Crimson was upset by the host, No. 21 San Diego State University, 6-5, in the morning and fell to fifth-ranked University of Hawai'i, 10-5, later in the day.


  • Goalie Sam Acker recorded 24 saves across two games. The junior's 15 stops against the Aztecs were the second most of her career.
  • Sophomore Mathilde Ribordy led the Crimson with four points on the day. The attacker scored twice and had an assist against SDSU, then added another goal against Hawai'i.
  • Attacker Sofia Carrera-Justiz equaled Ribordy's team-leading three points versus the Aztecs. The sophomore assisted the first two Crimson goals and scored the fifth.
  • Junior Kristen Hong found the back of the net three times, twice versus San Diego State.
  • Sophomore Lana Gorlinski and freshman Quinne Pursell led the team with two points (1g, 1a) against Hawai'i. Gorlinski also scored against San Diego State.
  • Senior goal Cleo Harrington made six saves against the Rainbow Wahine.
  • Senior Sami Strutner made two steal versus SDSU. Junior Haley Bowe and Ribordy also recorded one swipe. 

Game One vs. No. 21 San Diego State
The Crimson matched the Aztecs goal-for-goal through the first quarter, 3-3. Gorlinski, Hong, and Ribordy each found the back of the net in the opening frame. Hong added another in the second, but SDSU scored twice to go up one at the half, 5-4. After the break, Carerra-Justiz registered her only goal of the morning contest to lift Harvard up another point, but two more Aztec goals pushed the gap to two goals, 7-5. Ribordy later tallied the only goal of the fourth quarter, but the Crimson fell, 7-6.

Game Two vs. No. 5 Hawai'i
Five Rainbow Wahine goals in the first quarter dictated the outcome of the match. Hong and Gorlinski got the Crimson on the board in the second frame, but Hawai'i was able to add three more goals to stretch its lead to 8-2 at the half. Ribordy, Pursell, and Price found the back of the net in the fourth quarter to help Harvard outscore the Rainbow Wahine in second half, 3-2. 

What's Next
The Crimson return for day two of the Aztec Invitational on Sunday. Harvard plays NO. 19 Cal State Northridge at 12:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. PST) and No. 11 UC San Diego at 5:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. PST).