HANOVER. N.H--Called up from the J.V. team as a replacement for the co-captain, junior Mary Ann Riordan scored the only goal as the women's field hockey team blanked Dartmouth Saturday to stay undefeated in Ivy competition.
Despite the absence of center halfback and co-captain Manure Finn, the Crimson scored its first-ever Ivy win against the Big Green, registering its sixth shutout of the season and raising its record to 8-1-1, 3-0 in the Ivies.
Riordan's heroics came 27 minutes into the first half, when a scuffle to the right of the Dartmouth goal drew the full attention of the Big Green defense. Their eyes fixed on the ball and the surrounding crowd of red shirts, the defenders all clumped between the ball and the net.
Nobody from Dartmouth noticed when the orange-haired Harvard inner forward slipped to the other side of the goal and into the Big Green's goal mouth.
But Crimson Co-Captain Kale Martin spotted her wide-open teammate, and with a flick of her wrist. Martin scooted the ball out of the crowd, across the crease, and onto the stick of the waiting Riordan. Riordan then flipped the ball past goalie. Tory Parrot for the game's only score.
"I guess I'm just short enough and small enough to get through," Riordan said. "I'm supposed to rush the [goaltender's] pads. That's what the coach always has you do in practice."
Practice is what the Harvard defense got late in the second half. Trailing by just one goal, the Dartmouth attack mounted an allout assault, keeping the ball almost exclusively in the Harvard half for the last 15 minutes. But the persistent. Big Green scoring efforts all fell short or wide--some by less than a foot.
Ellen O'Neill, playing at Finn's center halfback spot, robbed the Big Green of a tying tally when she stopped a drive inches shy of the Crimson goal line. Minutes later. Trina Burnham, shifted to O'Neill's right halfback position, sped in front of a pass to parry another dangerous thrust.
Through it all, Harvard netminder Juliet Lamont showed why she gained Ivy Player-of-the-week honors for last week's performance against Penn. Every time Dartmouth drove a shot past the Crimson defense. Lamont was there to kick the ball away.
Rough playing conditions worked to Harvard's advantage in the late stages, as the choppy, divot-filled penalty circle made. Dartmouth's crossing passes bouncy and unpredictable. A five-foot hill on the southeast corner of the field further complicated matters. And rains before and during the contest slowed the ball and caused some unintentional acrobatics displays.
The slower field and choppier penalty areas helped Harvard ward off five Dartmouth penalty comers in the final seven minutes of the game. The Harvard attack aimed only five short comer all day.
THE NOTEBOOK: Harvard travels to Princeton Saturday to take on the only other undefeated team in the lvies. Last year's co-champions have 2-0 league mark. Thursday, the Stickwomen host UMass. Asked after the contest if she was related to Harvard's third-string quarterback Jack. Riordan said no, but she hoped he'd succeed in the game she was about the watch.