2018 CWPA Championship
Saint Francis (12-16, 0-8 CWPA)
WINNER ADVANCES TO PLAY:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 2018 CWPA Championship is up for grabs this weekend as the No. 23 Harvard women's water polo team heads to Bucknell University. The Crimson (15-17) have the eighth seed after going 2-6 in conference action and will meet ninth-seed Saint Francis (12-16, 0-8 CWPA) in the first matchup of the tournament. Harvard and the Red Flash will kick-off the weekend's action on Friday, April 27 at noon in Kinney Natatorium. The winner advances to play the league's top-seed, No. 10 Princeton (21-7, 8-0 CWPA) at 6 p.m. Stretch Internet will be streaming all the matches at a cost of $10 per game or $25 for the entire gamut.
Scouting No. 23 Harvard
Harvard remained ranked in the national poll despite closing the regular season on a four-game skid. In the final weekend of the regular season, the Crimson lost to Bucknell, 9-8, George Washington, 14-12, and then-No. 11 Princeton, 13-7.
Junior Kristen Hong is the leading scorer for the Crimson this year. Hong has a team-best 65 goals, adding 35 assists for an even 100 points. Sophomore Mathilde Ribordy is second on the team with 54 goals and classmate Sofia Carrera-Justiz is third with 41. Carrera-Justiz leads the squad with 51 assists for a total of 92 points. Freshmen Olivia Price (39) and Quinne Pursell (34), as well as senior Sami Strutner (34) have also tallied 30 or more goals this season. Carrera-Justiz's team-best 36 steals are one more than Hong's, while Strutner has 30 take-aways.
In net, the combination of senior Cleo Harrington and junior Sam Acker has seen success. Harrington has 182 saves this season, having seen most of the action in Princeton last weekend. Acker has 159 saves this season. Harrington boasts 21 steals and a dozen assists this season, while Acker has 17 assists and nine steals.
Scouting Saint Francis
The Red Flash have lost its last 11 matches dating back to March 24. Harvard beat SFU twice during that stretch: 13-7 on Saturday, March 24 and 14-4 on Saturday, April 7. Marialena Seletopoulou is the top scorer for the Red Flash, having amassed 101 goal this season. The attacker also lead the team with 39 steals. Missy McCreary tops the squad with 31 assists. Kelly Fehr is second in both categories with 46 goals and 29 steals.
Scouting No. 10 Princeton
The Tigers have won eight straight contests heading into the conference tournament. Princeton moved up one more spot after claiming the regular-season conference title with four wins in its home pool two weekends past. In those matches, the Tigers topped George Washington, 15-10, Brown, 12-7, then-No. 19 Harvard, 13-7, and Bucknell, 12-5.
No. 3 Haley Wan is the leading scorer for Princeton. Wan's 66 goals and 53 steals lead the team, while her 39 assists are second. Lindsey Kelleher is second on the squad with 51 goals and first in assists (42). Chelsea Johnson (46), Amy Castellano (41), and Eliza Britt (32) are other 30+ goal scorers in the lineup. Marissa Webb is the top goaltender for the Tigers. In nearly 846 minutes played, the freshman has made 266 saves and allowed 213 goals, with a save percentage of 55.5%.
At the `17 CWPA Championship
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, 12-11, in the quarterfinal round. The Crimson then fell to No. 7 Michigan, 11-5, in a league semifinal, before being defeated by Hartwick, 10-7, in the third/fourth-place match.
Bucknell is selling three-day passes for fans attending the CWPA Championship. The cost for a tournament pass is $25. A one-day pass for $10 will be available for sale on Sunday. Tickets for senior citizens will be available at a discounted price, while children 12 years old or younger will be admitted free of charge. Tickets must be purchased at the door as there is no presale.
Pay-per-view streaming is available through Stretch Internet. The per game cost is $10, while digital access for the entire tournament is $25.
2018 CWPA Championship Schedule
Friday, April 27
Game 1 – No. 8 Harvard vs. No. 9 Saint Francis – Noon
Game 2 – No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 7 Brown – 1:30 p.m.
Game 3 – No. 3 Hartwick vs. No. 6 George Washington – 3:00 p.m.
Game 4 – No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 5 Bucknell – 4:30 p.m.
Game 5 – No. 1 Princeton vs. Winner Game 1 – 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 28
Game 6 – Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 2 – Noon
Game 7 – Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Game 8 – Winner 2 vs. Winner Game 3 – 3 p.m.
Game 9 – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 – 4:30 p.m.
Game 10 – Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7 – 6 p.m.
Game 11 – Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 29
Seventh Place – Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 11 – 9 a.m.
Fifth Place – Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 6 – 10:30 a.m.
Third Place – Loser Game 8 vs. Loser Game 9 – Noon
First Place – Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 8 – 1:30 p.m.