ESPNU to Air No. 19 Women’s Water Polo’s Clash with No. 11 Princeton as Regular Season Concludes with Trio of CWPA Matches

ESPNU to Air No. 19 Women’s Water Polo’s Clash with No. 11 Princeton as Regular Season Concludes with Trio of CWPA Matches





DeNunzio Pool

Bucknell (11-15, 1-3 CWPA)
Sat., April 14 / 9:30 a.m.
W, 9-5 (4/8/17)
Harvard trails, 20-22-1

 George Washington (11-11, 1-3 CWPA)
Sat., April 14 / 6 p.m.
W, 14-8 (3/25/18)
Harvard leads, 28-1

No. 11 Princeton
Sun., April 15 / 10:30 a.m.
L, 7-4 (3/3/17)
Harvard trails, 12-41


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 2018 regular season will conclude for the No. 19 Harvard women's water polo team this weekend. The Crimson (15-14, 2-3 CWPA) will play three conference matches at Princeton, taking on Bucknell and George Washington on Saturday, April 14, before facing No. 11 Princeton on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Harvard's showdown with the Tigers (17-7, 4-0 CWPA) will be broadcast on ESPNU. 

Scouting No. 19 Harvard
Harvard continued conference action with a midweek trip to Brown on Wednesday night. The game saw six lead changes and ultimately ended with a Crimson overtime loss, 10-8. Sophomore Mathilde Ribordy scored twice, while classmate Julie Harrison registered five points (1g, 4a). Ribordy's 48 goals this season are second only to junior Kristen Hong's 58. Six student-athletes have posted 30 or more goals this season: Hong, Ribordy, Sofia Carrera-Justiz (39), Oliva Price (35), Quinne Pursell (33), and Sami Strutner (32). Carrera-Justiz paces the team with 47 assists and 35 steals, while Ribordy tops the group with 11 blocks.

In net, the combination of senior Cleo Harrington and junior Sam Acker continue to each play at a high level. Harrington has 163 saves this season, having made 12 saves against Brown on Wednesday night. Acker has 152 saves this season. Harrington boasts 18 steals this season, while Acker has 16 assists.

Scouting Bucknell
The Bison went 1-3 at Harvard last weekend. Bucknell lost to No. 12 Hartwick, 12-5, No. 9 Michigan, 14-5, and No. 13 Indiana, 11-5, but beat Saint Francis, 10-3. Emily Konishi leads the Bison in scoring, having 35 goals and 40 assists to her name. Colleen Barron is second with 32 goals and Kali Hyham is third with 30. Manuela Herrera has seen nearly all the action in net for Bucknell, registering 175 saves and giving up 215 goals in 776 minutes of play.

Scouting George Washington
The Colonials had similar results during its CWPA opening weekend. GWU lost to Hartwick, 20-10, Michigan, 20-9, and Indiana, 9-5, before topping Saint Francis, 10-1. Alana Ponce leads the team with 49 goals, with Grace Heck (32) and Dara Bleiberg (30) as 30+ goal-scorers this year. Bleiberg and Scarlett Hallahan each have a team-best 28 assists on the year. The Colonials have split goaltending duties between Katherine Moeller and Samantha Runyon. Runyon has made 85 saves and 13 steals, while Moeller has 73 stops and 16 swipes. George Washington will open this weekend against Princeton.

Scouting No. 11 Princeton
The Tigers jumped from No. 15 to No. 11 in the CWPA rankings released on Wednesday. Princeton went 4-0 at Harvard last weekend, defeating No. 13 Indiana, 10-8, St. Francis, 15-7, No. 12 Hartwick, 14-12, and No. 9 Michigan, 8-7 (2OT). The four wins put the Tigers at 11-1 in their past dozen matches, falling only to No. 3 Southern California, 17-4, on March 22. No. 3 Haley Wan is the leading scorer for Princeton. Wan's 52 goals and 48 steals lead the team, while her 33 assists are second. Lindsey Kelleher is second on the squad with 40 goals and first in assists (34) and blocks (10). Chelsea Johnson and Amy Castellano are other 30+ goal scorers, having registered 37 and 32, respectively. Marissa Webb is the top goaltender for the Tigers. In nearly 718 minutes played, the freshman has made 220 saves and allowed 184 goals, with a save percentage of 54.46%.

Up Next
The Crimson will compete in the CWPA Tournament beginning on Friday, April 27. Conference play concludes this weekend and will determine teams' seeding. At 2-3 in CWPA play, Harvard has four points and stands in sixth place.  

Follow the Leader
The Harvard captains are senior attacker Sami Strutner and senior goalie Cleo Harrington

The Crimson program has continued to rise under the tutelage of the Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach Ted Minnis. Harvard finished last season with its highest-ever final national ranking (No. 15) following an appearance in a CWPA Championship Semifinal after defeating No. 16 Indiana. 

Class of 2020
Four new faces appear in the Harvard lineup this season: Jilly CroninQuinne PursellOlivia Price, and Remedy Ryan. Pursell and Price are attackers, while Ryan is a 2-meter player, and Cronin is listed as utility personnel. 

Championship Aspirations
Harvard continues to climb the championship ladder. The Crimson finished fourth in the conference in 2016-17, improving upon sixth place finishes in each of the two seasons prior. Harvard eliminated No. 16 Indiana in the quarterfinal round.