CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 17 Harvard women's water polo team (2-0) won both of its season opening matches at the Harvard Mini. The Crimson handed Villanova its first loss of the season after a 21-5 victory before going on to down the Iona Gaels, 10-4.
Sophomore Borden Wahl led all scorers on the day, tallying five goals while also netting three assists and two steals. Right behind her were juniors Quinne Pursell, Olivia Price and senior Lana Gorlinski, who each found the back of the net four times during the two matches. Sophomore Evan Tingler led the team in assists with six. In goal, sophomore Zoe Banks and first-year Alexis Kieckhafer split time in net evenly in both matches, each playing one half. Banks recorded 10 saves and Kieckhafer had six saves, two assists and one steal.
In the morning matchup against Villanova, Banks shutout the Wildcats in the first quarter, allowing for the Crimson to go on a 7-0 run. Harvard continued its dominance into the second quarter, scoring the first two goals to increase its lead to 9-0. Villanova would answer with two goals of its own, but the Crimson again pulled away scoring four-straight for a 13-2 lead entering the half. Harvard would only concede three more goals to the Wildcats during the third and fourth, bringing the match to an eventual 21-5 conclusion.
The Crimson continued its dominance in its second match of the day, going on a 4-0 run at the start of the match. Harvard then went on a four-goal run in the second quarter to take an eventual 8-2 lead into the half. Iona answered Harvard's two goals in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter by netting two goals of its own with time expiring, but the Crimson would hold on for the 10-4 victory.
- Harvard did not allow more than two Villanova goals in a single quarter.
- This is the second-straight year that Harvard has started the season 2-0 after season opening victories against Villanova and Iona.
- Gorlinski tallied a career-high four goals and Tingler tabbed a career-high five assists against Villanova.
- First-year Brooke Hourigan recorded her first career goal at Harvard against Iona.
The Crimson will hit the road for the entire month of February, first heading to Providence, R.I. for the Bruno Classic hosted by Brown on Feb. 1. There, Harvard will see action against Whittier and Wagner.