Water polo sinks at Harvard Invitational

Jon Albert

 The women’s water polo team had a disappointing start to its 2010 season this past weekend, losing all four of its matches at the annual Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Mass. 

The club’s 0-4 mark did not reflect the tenacity with which the team fought during the season’s inaugural meet. 

Its first match, against the hosting Harvard Crimson, resulted in a 16-2 loss. Juniors Kathleen Maloney and Mara Apablasa both tallied goals for the ‘Cats, and sophomore goalie Ellie McCutcheon recorded 10 saves.

 The ‘Cats could not right the sinking ship in match number two, which was a hard-fought 12-4 loss to the Brown Bears.  

Sophomore Jen Soares was the top point-scorer for the Wildcats, notching two goals, and senior goalie Andrea La Fevers added nine saves in relief of McCutcheon.

 Unlike most other Villanova sports, the women’s water polo team plays in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference, rather than the Big East. Its first conference match of the season came against Iona, when it lost a closely contested battle by a score of 9-5. Soares and 2009 2nd-team All-MAAC junior Kathleen Maloney scored two goals apiece for the ‘Cats, and freshman Katie Hannigan scored the first goal of her career.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the final match of the invitational did not go swimmingly as the team fell to the New York Athletic Club by a margin of 15-7. Soares’ three goals and two assists were a high-water mark for the team, while La Fevers added 11 more saves to her career total.

The Wildcats will try to catch a wave of good luck this weekend when they will hop back in the pool to compete in the Bucknell Invitational against George Washington, Indiana and Mercyhurst in Lewisburg, Pa. 

The team will play exclusively on the road until March, when it hostst its first match of the season against George Washington. 

Luckily for the water polo team, the match at George Washinton is not too far away and should attract some alumni in the D.C. area.