No. 16 Women’s Water Polo Advances to Semifinals After 11-9 Victory Over Brown

Kristen Hong garnered Player of the Game recognition as she tallied four goals. Photo by: Gil Talbot
Kristen Hong garnered Player of the Game recognition as she tallied four goals. Photo by: Gil Talbot

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- In the opening round of the CWPA tournament, the No. 16 Harvard women's water polo team found success over Brown to move forward. Harvard came back from a two-goal deficit at the half to gather an 11-9 win and moves to 21-6 on the season.

Opening up the scoring play, Brown captured the first goal from the outside before Kristen Hong took the cross pass from Evan Tingler to collect the only Crimson goal of the period. In a defensive battle between both sides, the Bears tallied two more scores and headed into the second with a 3-1 lead. Striking again for Harvard, Hong capitalized on a six-on-five before Quinne Pursell fired one of her own on the counter, but the team still trailed, 5-3.

During the second half of play, the Crimson offense came alive to more than double its score in the third period alone. Kristen Hong shifted the momentum in Harvard's favor by winning the sprint, followed by Grace Thawley drawing a kick out while simultaneously scoring on the foul. Harvard continued to see goals from Olivia Price, Mathilde Ribordy and another from Hong for an 8-6 mark.

Looking to keep the lead in the final eight minutes of play, senior Kristen Hong captured the sprint in the opening drive before the Crimson worked the ball around the pool returning it back to Hong who skipped it in to extend the lead, 9-6. Brown's Dagmara Czajka scored two goals, one from the outside followed by another on a cross drive in front of the goal.

With just over two minutes left, a wide-open Sofia Carerra-Justiz extended the lead as she sent a bullet to the back of the net. Harvard's three-goal lead was short-lived as the Bears collected back-to-back scores, but Harvard sealed the victory when Grace Thawley struck again. Despite being surrounded in the middle, Thawley turned on the pass for a speedy shot to the back, 11-9.

Harvard Highlights

  • Senior Kristen Hong garnered player of the game honors as she tallied four goals and two assists.
  • First-year Grace Thawley recorded two goals and a game-high three designated kick outs.
  • Defensively, junior Matilde Ribordy and sophomore Quinne Pursell collected two blocks each.

On Tap
The Crimson looks to capture its second postseason and third overall victory against No. 6 Michigan in the semifinals, tomorrow, Saturday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. Broadcast will air on the CWPA website. Should the Crimson prevail they will meet either Princeton or Bucknell in the championship game at 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.