CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Goalie Cleo Harrington (So., Coast) made 17 saves and the duo of Charlotte Hendrix (Sr., Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) and Kristen Hong (Fr., Orinda, Calif./Miramonte) both scored four times as the No. 18-ranked/host Harvard University Crimson disposed of Division III No. 9 Connecticut College, 13-3, to earn a shot at making the Fifth Place game of the 2016 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship at home in Blodgett Pool.
The victory advances Harvard (23-9, 3-4 CWPA Division I/II) into a 7:30 p.m. clash with George Washington University this evening with a spot in the championship's Fifth Place game against No. 20 Bucknell University on the line. George Washington earned its berth in the contest by taking down Connecticut College, 9-8, in the opening game on Friday, April 29, prior to falling to top-seed/No. 5 the University of Michigan, 20-5, in the concluding game on Day One.
Harvard is 1-0 against the Colonials of George Washington in 2016 as the Crimson claimed an 18-4 victory on April 16 at Princeton University in the regular season finale for both programs.
Facing Connecticut College (15-18, 14-3 CWPA Division III) for the first time this season, Harvard never trailed and was rarely challenged in opening up a 6-1 lead by the conclusion of the first quarter.
Hong dominated the early going as the freshman fired in back-to-back strikes at 7:13 and 4:58 to open up a 2-0 lead for the Crimson. Following man-up tally by Connecticut's Sam Pierce (Sr., Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chaffee) at 4:30 to cut Harvard's margin in half, the Crimson turned up the pressure and began to pull away with authority.
Hendrix, who claimed Player of the Game honors for her efforts, ignited a 4-0 scoring run to the concluding horn of the first quarter by burying a power-play chance at 4:02. Leading 3-1 midway through the opening quarter of action, Harvard closed out the eight minute frame with a tally by Hollis Jomo (So., Riverside, Conn./Greenwich) at 3:19 followed by back-to-back markers from Hendrix with 1:57 and 28 seconds on the clock to make it 6-1.
The Crimson continued to pound the Camels' cage in the dawning moments of the second quarter as Hong and Sami Strutner (So., Redwood City, Calif./Saint Francis) worked their way into Connecticut water for point blank blasts at 7:39 and 5:03, respectively, to expand the spread to 8-1 entering halftime.
Following the break, Yoshi Andersen (Sr., Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach) finished out a 7-0 spurt by Harvard as she uncorked a shot that eluded Connecticut goalie Sarah Sovia (Jr., Pottstown, Pa./The Hill School) 36 seconds into the third quarter to widen the expanse between the teams to 9-1.
The Camels chipped one score off the spread prior to the concluding horn of the third quarter as 2016 CWPA Division III Most Valuable Player Kelsey Millward (Sr., Baie-d'Urfe, Quebec/Loomis Chaffee) rifled home a five-meter penalty shot at 5:07 to pull Connecticut within 9-2 entering the fourth quarter.
Consecutive tallies by Hendrix (4:49) and Nikki Daurio (Fr., Tustin, Calif./Beckman) (4:17) pushed the spread to nine at 11-2 to begin the fourth quarter. Connecticut's April Anderson (So., Mill Valley, Calif./Tamalpais) answered at 4:06 to make it 11-3, but back-to-back goals by Hong (3:06) and Sam Acker (Fr., Palto Alto, Calif./Gunn) (47 seconds) finished out the scoring for the 13-3 finale.
For Harvard, Jomo, Andersen, Daurio, Acker and Strutner each scored once to accompany quartets of strikes by Hong and Hendrix.
Connecticut received single tallies by Millward, Pierce and Anderson on offense and two saves from Sovia.
The Camels will have a chance to earn a rematch against either Harvard or George Washington as Connecticut is slated to meet Brown University at 6:00 p.m. this evening with a spot in the Seventh Place game at stake. Connecticut is 0-2 against Brown in 2016 as the squad fell to the Bears 17-14 on March 23 at home in New London, Conn. prior to suffering a 17-10 road loss in Providence, R.I., on April 6.
A victory over the Bears will permit the Constitution State squad to take on the loser of the Harvard-George Washington consolation game at 7:30 p.m. tonight. A loss to Brown will conclude Connecticut's participation at the 2016 CWPA Championship and draw the curtain down on the Camels' campaign until next winter.
|Division III No. 9 Connecticut College (15-8, 14-3 CWPA Division III)
|No. 18 Harvard University (23-9, 3-4 CWPA Division I/II)
Harvard Goals: Kristen Hong (4); Charlotte Hendrix (4); Hollis Jomo; Yoshi Andersen; Nikki Daurio; Sam Acker; Sami Strutner
Connecticut Goals: Kelsey Millward; Sam Pierce; April Anderson
Saves: Harvard - Cleo Harrington (17) ; Connecticut - Sarah Sovia (2)
Exclusions: Harvard - 6 ; Connecticut - 3
Advantage Opportunities: Harvard - 1-for-3 ; Connecticut - 2-for-6
Sprints: Harvard - 3-for-4 (1st, 2nd, 4th) ; Connecticut - 1-for-4 (3rd)
Officials: Scott Voltz, Alex Stankevitch