The Harvard women's lacrosse team moved two steps closer to Ivy League and Big Four championships yesterday, trouncing Cornell and Boston College in back-to-back 10-point victories.
Playing a rare double-header, the laxwomen survived a pair of slow starts to persevere throughout the day, on route to 19-9 and 15-5 victories over Cornell and B.C.
At the start of both contests the laxwomen flirted with 1-1 ties early but exploded near the ends of the first halves, putting the Big Red and the Eagles away by halftime.
In the first game especially, Harvard got off to a slow start, not scoring for nearly 10 minutes. Finally at 15:21, Kate Felsen broke the ice, scoring from eight meters out on a free position.
Within a minute, Cornell had put in one of its own, tying the score at one.
The scoring drought continued, this time for five minutes. Then Cornell, which had not won an Ivy League game all year, found the net again, putting Harvard down 2-1.
It was the first and only time all day that Harvard found itself behind.
The laxwomen proceeded to explode for six unanswered goals, putting the contest out of reach by halftime, with the score 7-2.
Co-Captain Blair Wardenburg and high-scorer Kate McBride combined in this scoring flurry, putting in three and two goals, respectively. McBride was not done, however, as she went on to finish the morning with her second seven-goal game of the season.
Cornell never really threatened again, allowing Harvard to substitute freely in the second half and rest for the second game.
In the B.C. game, Felsen again was the one to break open the scoreless tie, finding the net after five minutes had elapsed. After the aggressive B.C. team put in one of its own a couple minutes later, the laxwomen once again connected for five straight goals. B.C. could respond with only one score, just 23 seconds before halftime, and Harvard again left the field with an insurmountable lead, this time one of 6-2.
In the half-ending scoring storm, Felsen and freshman Cindy Ersek joined Wardenburg and McBride in tallying, as B.C. keyed on McBride.
"They pressured her all over the field, but you're never going to shut her down," said Coach Carole Kleinfelder. McBride still had two goals and an assist in the game, as Wardenburg and Felsen scored four each.
"Anyone can score if given the chance," Felsen said. "The team is really strong." One stand-out was sophomore Anne Dowling, who came in off the bench to score twice against Cornell and three times on B.C.. "There's an example of someone coming off the bench and really contributing," Kleinfelder said.
The Harvard defense performed exceptionally in shutting down B.C.'s agressive offense, especially considering the fact it was their second game of the day, said Kleinfelder.