Don't be surprised if you see a few members of the Harvard women's lacrosse team sporting a tan. The squad began its season last weekend with two days of sun and fun.
The Crimson participated in a lacrosse jamboree at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. Harvard played 11 games and faced 10 different squads.
Each game was only 25 minutes long, half of regulation time. This left plenty of time for relaxation and sunbathing.
"It was beautiful weather and there was a lot of really good competition," Co-Captain Leelee Groome said.
The games are best described as informal. No statistics are kept and Harvard Coach Carole Kleinfelder even refereed a few of the games.
"All of the teams were playing for the first time," Co-Captain Cindi Ersek said. "We were not playing to win, we were playing to learn and improve."
Harvard's schedule began and ended with the same team, and did not include any of its future regular-season opponents.
Saturday morning, the Crimson looked a little shaky and lost to Lafayette by four goals. Still unsettled, the Crimson went on to lose to Lehigh.
"We started off really slowly but came together," said Ersek. "We were not playing our starting team. We were playing different people and trying different line-ups."
Roll Out The Barrel
"This was a great time for coach to figure out where she wants people to play and try people at new positions," Groome said.
Harvard rallied and went on to win its next four games, defeating William and Mary, Virginia, Richmond and Towsen. The women ended the first day with an impressive showing against the USA national team. The Crimson played very well, but fell, 5-3.
"Playing against people better than you is really good because you can identify your weaknesses," Groome said.
Sunday, Harvard disposed of Delaware but ran into some problems against powerhouse Penn State. The Nittany Lions controlled the ball and were able to slow down Harvard's transition game. The Crimson's defense held well, but not well enough to win.
The Crimson crushed Kleinfelder's alma mater, West Chester. Goalie Kelly Dermody played well and looked strong throughout the weekend.