Everybody has their off days. You know, those days when no matter how hard you try, it simply doesn't work.
Unfortunately, the Harvard women's lacrosse team yesterday had one of those days Murphy's Law reigned supreme, dropping a 13-6 decision to Temple that shattered any Crimson hopes for a National championship.
"We couldn't catch. We couldn't throw," co-captain Anne MacMillan Lamented from her motel room in Lyonsville, Pa. just outside the West Chester State College campus where the Nationals are being held. Our connections were terrible. People weren't getting open. It was terrible."
Francesca Den Hartog provided the day's only bright spot, accounting for four of the Crimson's six tallies.
Den Hartog's performance tied her for the team's scoring lead (53 goals each) with Maureen Finn, who didn't play in yesterday's debacle because of a leg injury.
"We really missed Mo [Finn]," said MacMillan. "She controls the pace of the attack. She really sets everything up."
Yesterday, however, it wasn't just a question of a little missing firepower, Nothing went right.
The defense had trouble all its own Temple a unbalanced attack gave the Crimson headaches all day. "The defense had problems with teamwork," defender Sara Sewall said yesterday. "They [Temple] had a couple of quick players, who drew us wide and then went around us and opened up gaps. We were just pathetic."
Netminder and co-captain Charlotte Worsley, normally one of the Crimson's most dependable performers, gave what may have been her worst varsity performance so far, making only one stop on the Owls first five shots. Worsley let the game with the score 4-1, midway through the first half.
Cricket Johnson, who first showed her pluck against the Owls earlier this season, made some saves in relief even allowing the Crimson to get within two of Temple early in the second stanza.
But when it rains, it pears and even the Yardling's performance was not enough to stop Temple, who outscored the Crimson 7-2 in the second stanza.
"Carole [Kleinfelder--the team's coach] told us we had to get out a lead early, and then be cautious," MacMillan said of a strategy that fell apart early as the Owls notched the first two goals of the game. "She thought we might have a little trouble breaking their zone. I guess we did."
Despite its dismal performance, the Crimson will not have to return right away to the rigors of academic. Harvard faces Ohio University, the loser in yesterday's game against Penn State in a consolation round this morning.
THE NOTEBOOK: Alicia Carillo and Jennifer White completed the scoring for Harvard, each notching a goal. The loss drops Harvard's season mark to 12-7.