A jubilant women's lacrosse team returned from Pennsylvania Saturday after placing fifth in the National Collegiate Women's Lacrosse Tournament and laying claim to the ninth or tenth place slot in this season's national rankings. West Chester State, the host team, nabbed first place in the tournament when they downed Ursinus, 8-4, in the finale yesterday afternoon.
A last minute goal by senior Ellen Seidler allowed the Crimson to notch an 8-7 win over the University of Pennsylvania Quarkers. This upset pushed the fourth-seeded Penn team into sixth place behind the Harvard team.
The Crimson lost their first game to West Chester State, 11-7, but performed well against the home team. Down 7-2 at the half, the Crimson attack refused to fold. Third home Sarah Mleczko plowed through the opposition for three straight one-on-one tallies before West Chester tightened their defense for good.
In their second game, the Crimson's ever-amazing defense had an Ursinus team running scared. Ursinus under-estimated the Harvard laxwomen, who were able to battle their way to a 3-2 lead at the half. Mleczko scored the Crimson's sharpest goal on another of her ready-made one-on-one drives. Receiving the ball behind the goal, Mleczko moved around the right side, used the cage for a pick and dropped a soft shot into the upper righthand corner.
Unfortunately the Crimson could not keep pace with Ursinus beyond the half and a scoring surge left them with a 6-4 loss.
The entire offense swung into action in the Crimson's decisive win over the New York State Champs from Colgate University. The final score was 17-7, with first home Lisa Kent pushing five goals through for the Crimson. In another exhibition of their fine passing skills, the Harvard defense moved the ball and hit Seidler in front of the cage where she once again did the job with a quick pop shot.
"It was a nice way to end the season--by playing so well, win or lose, in every game," Seilder said yesterday.
"We probably finished the season among the top ten teams in the country. Even though we had some losses, they were all against tough teams," Coach Carole Kleinfelder said.
"I am really pleased with this season's final results because it clearly demonstrates that women's lacrosse has turned the corner and is on the upswing in New England," she added.