With an impressive first strike and some massive retaliation, the Harvard women's lacrosse team yesterday shelled the invading Bruins of Brown, 18-5, to move the laxwomen's Ivy mark to an unblemished 3-0.
The cloudy weather cleared as pre-game warmups came to a close, giving the Crimson attack a clear view of its target--the Brown goal on the east end of the field.
Harvard controlled the ball off the opening faceoff as Maureen Finn scooped up the loose ball, moved down the left side of the field, and then dumped off to third home Jennifer White. White, who notched five goals against Northeastern on Monday, then moved in on the Brown goal virtually unopposed, beating Bruin Keeper Kate Lanou just 30 seconds into the game with a rocket that found its mark just below the crossbar.
Brown, however, came back with some firepower of its own at 22:05 as freshman Bruin Eileen Goldgeier took a pass from Melissa Halverstadt to the left of the goal and surprised everybody (especially Crimson keeper Charlotte Worsley) with a quick-stick that evened things at one.
Maggie Hart and White gave the Crimson the lead again with two more scores, but Bruin attack wing Ann-Marie Van Hengel, who hails from Tokyo, brought the score to 3-2 with an unassisted, down-the-middle tally at the 13:35 mark.
But that was all the offense Brown could muster in the first half as Harvard came up with six unanswered twine-twitchers, including two from big gun Francesca Den Hartog (six goals on the day) and a brilliant Ann MacMillan score that came off six straight stick-to-stick passes.
After the first 25 minutes the laxwomen possessed a seven-goal advantage that was never threatened in the second half.
Despite White's early goal, Coach Carole Kleinfelder still lamented her team's inability to play heads-up lacrosse at the beginning of the game--a fault that has marred many of the Crimson's recent contests.
"Brown took us by surprise at the beginning," she said. "It always seems that they get in the game, and then we do. We still have to work on that problem."
"We're a second-half team," said Den Hartog, who scored four goals in the second stanza.
Kleinfelder, though, still thought her charges did "a lot of nice things." She pointed out Jennifer Greeley's play at midfield and Sara Sewall's virtual silencing Van Hengel. Brown's leading scorer, who man aged only one goal in the game.
The defense, in general, played a strong all-around game. "We were getting the ball out quickly and generating some offense that started in the back," said detender Beth Mullen after the game.
"We've been working on our clears, and not getting double-teamed with the ball," said Sewall. "I think it really showed."