What could've, should've and would've been the Harvard women's lacrosse squad's most inspiring road trip to date became one of the most disappointing, less than 24 hours into the weekend jaunt through upstate New York.
The team scored two convincing victories--a 15-4 win over Cornell Saturday and a 24-2 thrashing of Colgate yesterday--but that was not enough to upstage the devastating loss of junior forward Lili Pew, who suffered form ligaments and possible cartilage damage in her right knee against the Big Red Saturday. The Philadelphia native is definitely out for the reason, with a decision on surgery to be made today. Harvard Coach Carole Kleinfelder is currently with Pew in Philadelphia.
"It's just one of those freak things," Harvard Assistant Coach Celia Brackenridge said last night. "Lili's a very fit girl and this is something that just should have never happended."
Pew, a standout in field hockey, squash and lacrosse, suffered the disappointing injury just 10 minutes into Saturday's match, when she fell and twisted her right knee on the artificial turf of Cornell's Schoellkopf Field.
The injury to one of Harvard's top athletes came just three days after she had turned in her best-ever lacrosse performance. Pew had led the Crimson to a 14-6 triumph over Brown last Wednesday, contributing three goals and three assists to her always aggressive play.
That's what's so disappointing about this injury." Brackenridge said "Lili was just coming off her best performance and then this had to happen."
The already injury-riddled lacrosse squad--five starters have been hobbled with recent injuries--seemed stunned by Pew's first half injury Saturday, and it could only manage a 4-2 halftime lead over a hapless Cornell squad But with just 20 minutes left in the game laxwomen went on a scoring spree, similar to the ones the Crimson had enjoyed earlier this year.
Before the laxwomen had finished they had sent 11 more unanswered balls careening past Big Red goalie Lucy Gil to post their 15-4 win their fourth victory in as many meetings with Cornell.
The laxwomen used the momentum from Saturday's second half to demolish a young Colgate squad yesterday. The Crimson raced to an impressive 15-2 halftime lead and then held the Red Raiders scoreless in the second, taking the 24-2 win with case.
Francesca DenHartog--who is still suffering from a back injury and was called into duty this weekend because of Pew's injury--led the way yesterday with seven goals and two assists. Fellow seniors Maureen Finn (five goals and five assists), and Jennifer White (six goals, two assists) provided just as potent, and junior Maggie Hart pitched in with four goals of her own.
Most noticeable in the two straight triumphs--which extended the Crimson winning streak to three--was the continued impressive play of the underclassmen. On a team laden with talented seniors, the underclassmen continued to pose problems for the opposition.
"We were extremely pleased with the play of the underclassmen," Brackenridge said. "They really showed a lot of poise and that should bode well for the future."
The future is as close as Saturday for the laxwomen, who will face Yale in their first home game in three weeks. And although this weekend's two relatively easy wins didn't provide much challenge, they could just be the spark the squad had needed. The Crimson, which had recently been suffering from a mild slump, upped its record to 7-3 (3-1 in Ivy play) with the two wins.