Continuing on a rampage in which it has scored 29 goals and allowed just one in the last four games, the Harvard women's soccer team defeated Smith 4-1 yesterday afternoon in Northampton.
Using the game as another warm-up for next week's showdown with Boston College, the booters made Smith goalie Chris Elimeter feel as if the first period were a free-for-all shooting practice.
Always in the Lead
With 37 shots on goal, the Crimson never trailed in the game, scoring the first of three first-period goals at 21-15 of the opening stanza.
Sophomore Kelly Landry scored the first of her two goals on a shot from far in the corner on an assist from team captain Laura Mayer.
Just 11 minutes later, Inga Larson found an open Joan Elliott standing directly in front of the Smith goal. Before Elimeter could react, Larson had passed to Elliott, who slammed the ball into the back of the Smith net.
With the score at 2-0 and intermission rapidly approaching. Harvard maintained pressure on the Smith defense.
Elimeter, who finished the game with 16 saves, did make several diving saves of Crimson shots. With 37-39 gone in the first period, however, she watched the Crimson's Brigitte Duffy knock the ball past her to up the score to 3-0 Landry provided the assist, her fifth in the last two games.
"Harvard totally outplayed us in the first half, both offensively and defensively," said Smith coach James Babyak. "They have some exceptional players who really know how to play the game and who are prepared extremely well."
The booters, who raised their record to 4-1-1 while posting their fourth consecutive victory, opened the second period much as they ended the first--keeping pressure on the Smith defense.
The Smith offense, however, got its first glimpse of Harvard territory in the opening minutes of the second half.
Smith finally managed a goal at 23-14. Forward Julie Hooks managed to get in between Harvard defenders and score off a rebound.
Landry retaliated with her second goal just three minutes later after breaking away from a Smith defender and knocking the ball in, just past Elimeter's outstretched hands.
"We came alive in the second half and managed to make Harvard work a little," Babyak said "[Harvard Coach Bob] Scalise just does an excellent job of putting all that talent together. They really played like a total team."
The total team effort could prove important for the booters with big games against Boston College and UConn on the horizon.