PROVIDENCE. R.I.--It will forever be the week they would like to forget. The week of the Crash.
Last Saturday, the Harvard field hockey players were riding high with a 6-3-2 record and fighting for an Ivy League championship.
But setbacks earlier in the week to Princeton and Boston College sent the Crimson into a tailspin, and Saturday's 1-0 loss to Brown at the Margolies Athletic Center in Providence brought the team crashing down.
Not that Harvard (now 6-6-2) hasn't had a fine season. improving on last year's 3-8-4 record. But dreams are dreams. and the frustration of this past week's disappointing stretch was evident on the players' faces Saturday. Most disheartening is the team's 1-3-1 Ivy record.
The loss to the Bruins epitomizea Harvard's season-long problem--an inability to pressure the opponent's goal. Saturday's shutout left the Crimson with only one goal in its last three games.
Besides sophomore forward Lisa Cutone's aggressive moves and fancy stickplay, the Crimson was unable to seriously threaten Bruin goalie Sarah Lamont, who snapped up the third shutout of her amazing freshman season.
The Crimson has its own goaltending phenom in junior Denise Katsias, who warded off relentless Brown pressure with several brilliant saves. Aided by some fine defensive plays from Tri-Captain Jane Grim and sophomore Erin O'Brien, Katsias kept the Bruins scoreless until well into the second half.
At the 16:27 mark of the second stanza, the ball entered the Harvard goal area, followed by a furious flurry of action in front of the Crimson net.
Unfortunately for the stickwomen, the law of averages finally caught up with them.
Brown's leading scorer, Barbara Wiley, broke through the Crimson defense by sliding a rebound off Katsias' pads into goal.
"They simply outplayed us," Tri-Captain Kate Felson said--a sentiment echoed by several teammates.
The Crimson may have been outplayed Saturday, but with a strong defense and six returning starters, the bull market in Harvard field hockey is bound to pick up under the direction of Lamborghini.
Still suffering from last week's nosedive, the Crimson will try to finish its season with a profit (above .500) by beating Yale in the final game of its '87 campaign Wednesday afternoon in New Haven.