Women’s Water Polo Takes Down No. 19 Harvard

Alana Ponce had three goals and four assists in the win over No. 19 Harvard.
Alana Ponce had three goals and four assists in the win over No. 19 Harvard.
April 14, 2018

PRINCETON, N.J. - Alana Ponce posted three goals and four assists to power George Washington women’s water polo to a 14-12 win over No. 19 Harvard on Saturday evening at DeNunzio Pool.

The Colonials improved their positioning in the CWPA standings on the final weekend of the regular season with their first win over the Crimson since 2004.

To start the day, GW fell to No. 11 Princeton, 15-10, in its home pool. The team sits at 12-12 overall and 2-4 in CWPA play with two games left until the conference championship.

GW 14, No. 19 Harvard 12: The Colonials closed strong to come out on top in a back-and-forth contest. After trailing the Crimson, 8-6, early in the second half, they asserted control with a run of four straight goals in a 2:30 span. Jacqueline Bywater, Ponce, Erin McGeoy and Jaleh Moaddeli provided the scores.

GW kept the lead the rest of the way, though Harvard did pull within 12-11 with 3:08 remaining. Erin McGeoy provided an answer for the Colonials with a power-play goal before Ponce’s final score of the night extended the advantage to three goals with just over a minute left.

Dara Bleiberg posted two goals and three assists and drew a team-high five ejections in the victory, while McGeoy, Bywater, Moaddeli and Ally Jochim each found the net twice.

Defensively, Bywater led the way with four steals, including the 300th of her decorated career. In net, Samantha Runyon came up with eight saves to help hold off the Crimson. It was GW's second win over a ranked opponent this season after a Feb. 17 victory over then-No. 25 Marist.

No. 11 Princeton 15, GW 10: Grace Heck netted a team-high five goals, but it wasn’t enough for the Colonials to catch the homestanding Tigers.

GW tied it at 10 on Ponce’s goal with 1:03 left in the third quarter. That turned out to be the Buff and Blue’s final score, though.

Princeton beat the third-quarter buzzer with the go-ahead goal and then earned a 4-0 advantage in the final quarter.

Bleiberg added two goals for GW with Ponce, Bywater and Kira Bruno also in on the scoring.

UP NEXT: GW wraps up the regular season Sunday with another CWPA doubleheader. The Colonials are set to face Bucknell (9 a.m.) and Brown (2 p.m.).

GW 14, No. 19 Harvard 12

GW Goals: Ponce 3, McGeoy 2, Bywater 2, Jochim 2, Bleiberg 2, Moaddeli 2, Hallahan 1.
GW Assists: Ponce 4, Bleiberg 3, Moaddeli 2, McGeoy 1, Hallahan 1, Johnson 1.
GW Steals: Bywater 4, McGeoy 3, Ponce 1, Heck 1, Bleiberg 1, Hallahan 1, Ball 1, Moaddeli 1.
GW Field Blocks: Moaddeli 2, Bywater 1, Ponce 1.
GW Ejections Drawn: Bleiberg 5, Ponce 3, Heck 1, McGeoy 1.
GW Saves: Runyon 8.

No. 11 Princeton 15, GW 10

GW Goals: Heck 5, Bleiberg 2, Bruno 1, Bywater 1, Ponce 1.
GW Assists: Moaddeli 2, Ponce 2, Hallahan 2, Heck 1, Bleiberg 1.
GW Steals: McGeoy 4, Jochim 4, Bywater 1, Ponce 1.
GW Field Blocks: Ponce 1, Bywater 1, Jochim 1, Bleiberg 1.
GW Ejections Drawn: McGeoy 3, Bleiberg 2, Moaddeli 2, Ponce 1.
GW Saves: Runyon 8.