Tigers Women's Water Polo Conclude Non-Conference Play With Rout Of Harvard
Junior Rebecca Wright led all scorers with a career-high four goals as the 19th-ranked Pacific women's water polo team cruised by visiting Harvard, 17-9, Tuesday at the Chris Kjeldsen Aquatics Complex.
The game wrapped up the non-conference portion of the Tigers' schedule as Pacific finished its non-league slate with a 15-7 record. The loss dropped Harvard to 13-7 on the year.
Prior to tonight's four-goal outburst, Wright had gone for three scores twice, once last season and once earlier this year against Cal State East Bay. Junior Elise Martin and freshman Gracie Smith each recorded hat tricks while sophomores Taylor Adair and Brydie Pye added two goals apiece.
Junior goalkeeper Michele Relton tied her season high with 17 blocks, just two shy of her career-high and school-record 19 saves.
Pacific jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter behind goals from Pye, Wright and junior Malena Prlain. A Harvard goal stopped the Tigers' run momentarily, but Adair put Pacific back up by three, 4-1, with 2:30 on the clock. The two squads would trade goals late in the frame as the Tigers led 5-2 after the first eight minutes.
The Crimson pulled to within two three times in the second frame, the last of which came on a power-play goal at the 1:36 mark. The Tigers scored the final two goals of the half, however, as Martin and Smith combined to give Pacific a 9-5 advantage heading into halftime.
The third quarter was all Pacific as the Tigers put away five goals while holding the visitors scoreless. All three of Wright's final scores came in the third period while Adair and Pye also tallied, spotting Pacific a nine-goal lead with one quarter left to play.
Sophomore Chelsea Weir gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game just one minute into the fourth quarter as Pacific went up by 10, 15-5. Harvard would rip off four consecutive goals to cut Pacific's lead to six, 15-9, with 3:35 left, but scores from sophomore Kelsey Carter and Martin kept the Crimson at bay down the stretch.
Elise Molnar paced Harvard with three goals. Goalkeeper Ariel Dukes finished the game with five saves.
Pacific opens Big West play next weekend with a road trip to Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. The Tigers take on the Matadors on Saturday, March 23, before squaring off with the Gauchos on Sunday. Both games are set to start at 12 p.m.
No. 19 Pacific 17, Harvard 9
Harvard 2 - 3 - 0 - 4 -- 9
Pacific 5 - 4 - 5 - 3 -- 17
Pacific - Wright 4, Martin 3, Smith 3, Adair 2, Pye 2, Carter, Prlain, Weir
Harvard - Molnar 3, Anderson, Cyr, Frager, Hendrix, A. Price, S. Price
Pacific - Relton 17
Harvard - Dukes 5