No. 14 Indiana water polo heads east this weekend for Harvard Invitational

No. 17 Indiana water polo continued to smooth out rough ends with a 2-2 record in last weekend’s Kalbus Invite. The Hoosiers will now head to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Harvard Invitational, the last invite on this season’s schedule.

The Hoosiers moved up to No. 14 in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association poll after two late-game wins against No. 18 Loyola Marymount and No. 11 University of California-San Diego. However, they still sit motionless at the bottom of the seven-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference.

This weekend, the competition is diluted compared to recent weeks as Indiana matches up against lower-seeded No. 20 Harvard University, no. 15 Wagner College, California Lutheran University and No. 23 Brown University.

For the Hoosiers, the weekend gets underway at 11:30 am Saturday against the host of the invitational, no. 20 Harvard. The Crimson have a 12-1 record, losing only to then-ranked No. 14 Wagner 11-6 on Feb 5. Back on Feb 13., the Crimson picked up a key win against then-No. 17 Long Island University.

Indiana will then play No. 15 Wagner at 6:15 pm Saturday. Wagner’s competition has been weaker than that of Indiana’s although it still sports a 12-2 record and is currently riding a 10-game winning streak.

The Wagner women’s water polo program is no stranger to Indiana water polo head coach Taylor Dodson. Dodson was a graduate assistant coach and director of operations at Wagner from 2015-17.

Dodson helped the Seahawks win two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles to help them become the first program to win four consecutive MAAC conference titles.

So far this season, Wagner’s offensive numbers have been top-notch. The Seahawks have scored a total of 234 goals compared to Indiana’s 167 so far this season and have scored 20 or more goals in five games this season.

The Seahawks’ offense runs through several players. They have six players who have scored 20 or more total goals on the season, and three of them have scored 30 or more goals, including senior attacker Sofia Diaz Alvarez, junior utility Abbey Simshauser and sophomore utility Andrea Arias.

Day two of the Harvard Invitational kicks off when Indiana takes on California Lutheran at 8 am Sunday. California Lutheran has only played six games so far this season, splitting them evenly at 3-3.

The Regals’ opponents have been different to Indiana’s, aside from California Baptist University. California Lutheran fell short against California Baptist, while Indiana beat the same opponent in its season-opener.

The last game of the weekend for the Hoosiers comes against No. 23 Brown at 11:45 am Sunday. Brown holds an 11-6 overall record on the year so far and is 3-4 against CWPA-ranked opponents.

The Bears’ junior utility Zoe King has recorded 27 total goals, 19 total assists and 27 total steals on the year and leads the team in all three categories.

Hoosiers senior center Izzy Mandema leads the team so far in total goals and total points with 36 apiece.

Indiana attackers senior Tina Doherty and freshman Skylar Kidd have also had an easy time reaching the back of the net with 21 and 24 goals, respectively.

After freshman goalkeeper Sarah Greeven’s strong weekend at the Kalbus Invite, it is uncertain if Dodson will keep her as the starting goalkeeper this weekend. Senior goalkeeper Mary Askew, who has started 11 of the team’s games, would be Greeven’s replacement.

All of the Hoosiers’ games this weekend will be streamed on ESPN +. Live statistics will be provided on The Fosh website.

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