Laxwomen Drop First Game, Finish 3rd in New Englands

After being nudged out by an underdog University of New Hampshire squad, 3-2, Saturday, the women's lacrosse team beat the University of Rhode Island, 4-2, yesterday to grab a third-place finish in the New England Championships.

The Crimson just barely qualified for next week's national tourney at Princeton.

Seeded second, the laxwomen were originally scheduled to square off against Yale in the first round of the New Englands, but the Elis surprised everyone by not showing up at the tournament.

"We were really psyched to play Yale," Chris Sailer said yesterday. "But we were also a little complacent about UNH."

The Crimson had already destroyed the New Hampshire squad, 6-1, earlier this season and, looking ahead to the second-round game, was not prepared for a powerful Wildcat attack.

Outhustling the Harvard women and controlling the midfield with an accurate passing game, UNH quickly jumped ahead, 3-0.

Freshman scoring ace Jennifer White tilted the momentum toward Harvard, when she nailed the Wildcat net with only 1:58 left in the first half.

The Harvard laxwomen continued to pick up momentum in the final 30 minutes, tightening up on defense and bringing the ball down the field with more authority. Carrie Bryan tallied again for the Crimson to make it 3-2 with less than ten minutes left on the clock.

But UNH regrouped and used its superior speed to outlast Harvard and coast to victory. The Wildcats went on to claim a second-place finish in the tourney.

It was do or die in game number two for the laxwomen, as they put everything back together against URI.

"When we were playing URI we knew we had to do it if we were going to make it to the nationals," captain Stefi Baum said yesterday.

White got the ball rolling early as she rocketed one into the URI net. That ended the half and left the score tied at one.

The second half belonged to the Crimson, as freshman attack Francesca Den Hartog tallied and senior Sarah Mleczko also fired a bullet past the URI netminder.

White then took a pass from Den Hartog and nailed URI's coffin shut.