Women’s Water Polo Returns to College Hill to Battle Harvard on Wednesday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Following a successful 12-game stint in California over spring break, the Brown women's water polo team returns to the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center for the first time since Feb. 2 to take on Ivy League rival Harvard in a Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division showdown on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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LAST TIME OUT

The Bears rattled off eight wins over 12 games in the Golden State last week to improve to 13-12 overall. Brown opened with three straight wins over Cal State Bernardino (11-5), Whittier (9-5) and Sonoma State (10-7) before falling to Loyola Marymount (14-6) and No. 6 UC Irvine (17-7). The Bears bounced back with a sweep of Pomona-Pitzer (11-10) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (12-9) on Tuesday, then fell to Cal Baptist in overtime (10-9) prior to defeating Concordia (10-8). Another overtime duel left Brown victorious over Whittier (9-8), followed by a loss to San Diego State (10-5) and a win versus Fresno Pacific (13-5) on Saturday.

Senior Kate Woods (La Jolla, Calif.) revved the offensive with 26 goals (2.17/game) on .400 shooting (26-for-65) while dishing out 20 assists (1.67/game) and grabbing 33 steals (2.75/game). Junior Liz Rosen (San Anselmo, Calif.) scored 17 goals, handed out 19 assists and tallied 19 steals, while senior Sarah Presant (Poway, Calif.) recorded 14 goals and nabbed 25 steals. Senior Emily McNamara (Winters, Calif.) gave opposing defenders fits with 16 goals and drew a team-best 34 ejections (2.85/game). Senior goalie Sarah Shin (Fullerton, Calif.) held strong for 6.58 saves per contest over the 12-game stretch.

SCOUTING THE CRIMSON

The Crimson (12-13) most recently opened CWPA Southern Division play with a 10-8 win over George Washington last Saturday, led by Yoshi Andersen's six goals and goalie Ariel Dukes' seven saves. Andersen paces the Harvard offense with 53 goals, Shayna Price is close behind with 47 scores and freshman Melissa Balding leads Crimson rookies with 27 goals.

Brown and Harvard will square off for the 104th time in program history on Wednesday when the Bears will aim to narrow the Crimson's 56-46 series advantage. Brown has won four in a row over its Ivy League foe, most recently dismissing the Crimson, 18-9, on Apr. 28, 2013, to take fifth place at the 2013 CWPA Eastern Championships.

SENIOR STRENGTH

Brown's deep senior class has propelled the team to success so far this season as fourth-years account for 51.4 percent of goals scored by the Bears. Woods, Brown's most effective player on either side of the pool, leads the team in goals (58) and steals (65) and ranks second in assists (40). McNamara sits second on the squad in goals (36) and has put Brown on the power play time and again with a team-best 60 ejections. Shin has made 147 saves for a .372 save percentage, while Presant has been steady with 22 goals, 30 steals and 13 assists.

ROOKIE SENSATIONS

Freshmen Shannon Crowley (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Marisa Kolokotronis (Sacramento, Calif.) have made an immediate splash for the Bears, collectively scoring 49 goals, grabbing 68 steals and earning a combined four CWPA weekly awards.  

Crowley, who doubled up as CWPA Rookie and Defensive Player of the Week on February 4, is tied for third on the team with 29 goals, ranks second with 47 steals and has distributed 28 assists. In her collegiate debut, she recorded eight goals, nine assists, eight steals and five draw ejections during Brown's 2-3 showing at the season-opening Brown Invitational. She tossed in five goals in a 15-12 win over Connecticut College on March 12 and wrangled five steals in a 9-8 overtime victory against Whittier on March 27.

Kolokotronis has earned CWPA Rookie of the Week twice this season, first on March 4 for her three-goal, two-steal effort in a dramatic 15-14 double overtime triumph at George Washington on March 1. She then captured the same honors on March 25 after recording six goals in five games to lift the Bears to a 3-2 mark during the first weekend of California action. Kolokotronis has amassed 20 goals, 21 steals and 14 assists during her rookie campaign.

UP NEXT

The Bears head out for a three-game slate at Bucknell this weekend. On Saturday, Brown takes Princeton at 11:30 a.m. and Mercyhurst at 7 p.m. before tussling with the Bison on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.