The women's field hockey team battled the University of Pennsylvania Saturday at Franklin Field, but no matter how fiercely the Crimson fought, they still came up short. The Quakers, 16th-ranked in the nation, stymied Harvard's hopes for a victory, 5-2, in the Crimson's Ivy League opener.
Penn took the lead six minutes into the game with a shot off a corner. Then, another six minutes later, Penn upped its lead to 2-0.
Harvard's first goal came 19 minutes into the first half when senior Anne Velie sent a pass from the top of the circle to sophomore Jennifer White, who put the ball to rest at the back of the net. The Quakers scored once more to leave the score at 3-1 at the half.
Penn began the second half with a bang, scoring a fourth goal for a 4-1 lead. Seven minutes into half number two, Harvard scored again when Kate Martin picked up a loose ball on the rebound and slipped it by the keeper for the score. Penn scored once more for the game's final goal.
"We didn't play as well as we have," attacker Kate Martin said yesterday. She attributed part of the problem to the field. "Astro-turf makes the game a lot faster," the sophomore said.
Attacker Anne McMillan said that she thought the team's play was "flat." She, too, placed part of the blame on the astroturf.
Wayne Meisel, the team's manager, said the astroturf "frustrated" the team's play. Penn was definitely on top of things from the start and Harvard had to adjust to the field, Meisel said, adding, "we weren't out-hustled, we were outpsyched."
Harvard controlled the game at mid-field, but the defense and offense had problems. The Crimson took eight shots, while Penn had 11.
Betty Ippolito and Juliette Lamont split time in the Harvard nets, each coming up with two saves. The Penn keeper was credited with eight saves.
Martin pointed out that despite the team's seemingly dismal record (to date 1-3-1), morale is still high.
"We've played four nationally ranked teams in a row," she said. And as for the rest of the season, the team is "psyched."