CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 17 Harvard women's water polo team (11-2) split day one of the Harvard Invite, defeating LIU (4-14) before falling to No. 24 Marist (5-11) in OT. In its early morning match against the Sharks, the Crimson handedly earned an 18-8 victory before battling in a tough 12-11 OT loss against the Red Foxes to conclude the day. Prior to the afternoon match, the Crimson honored celebrated its senior class.
Both senior captain Sofia Carrera-Justiz and junior Olivia Price led the Crimson in scoring with five goals each on the day, including a hat trick for Carrera-Justiz against Marist. Fellow senior captain Mathilde Ribordy followed closely behind with four tallies of her own. Five Harvard players totaled three assists, while Price led the team with three steals. Sophomore Borden Wahl had the lone block over the two matches and Price once again led in stat column, totaling three DKOs. Sophomore goalie Zoe Banks registered 16 total saves through seven quarters and two OT periods of play, while first-year Alexis Kieckhafer had one save during the fourth quarter against LIU.
For its first match of the day, the Crimson got out to an early 2-0 lead over the Sharks, however, LIU would cut the lead in half entering the second quarter. Harvard fell behind 3-2, and would trade goals back and forth with LIU before scoring two-straight to take the 8-6 lead into the half. The Crimson would pull away in the third scoring four-straight goals, including two from sophomore Inde Halligan, while Banks held the Sharks scoreless to help Harvard take a 10-goal lead into the final quarter of play. Kieckhafer would take over goaltending duties in the fourth and guide the Crimson to an eventual 18-8 victory.
Harvard kept its momentum going against Marist, again moving out to an early 2-0 lead. Goals by both teams would be traded back and forth to force a 3-3 deadlock entering the second quarter. The Crimson then began to break away, finding the back of the net four times to go ahead 7-4 entering the half. In the third quarter, sophomore Grace Thawley would score her third goal of the game to complete the hat trick and give Harvard a four-goal lead. The Red Foxes would mount a comeback in the fourth, scoring four-straight to take the 10-9 lead. However, a 5M penalty shot by first-year Brooke Hourigan with 53 seconds remaining in in the match would send it to OT. Price scored the lone goal in the first OT period to give the Crimson the 11-10 lead, but Marist would rally back tallying two-straight goals in the second OT period to take the 12-11 victory.
- Halligan recorded a new career high with three goals against LIU.
- Harvard remains undefeated against LIU, holding a 2-0 series lead.
- Banks has held opponents scoreless during six periods of play so far this season.
The Crimson will close out the Harvard Invite tomorrow, March 8, against No. 25 Cal State East Bay. Action will begin at 10:30 a.m. and be broadcast on ESPN+.