The Field Hockey Team's Sweeping Sensation

Harvard's Tina Lawler:

Most fans are familiar with the success the Harvard field hockey team has had over the past two seasons.

In 1990, Harvard grabbed its first-ever Ivy Title, and senior Sandra Whyte was named Ivy League Player of the Year.

This year, the Crimson, playing without Whyte, earned a share of the Ancient Eight crown and its first-ever invitation to the NCAA tournament, while seniors Ceci Clark and Loren Ambinder picked up All-America and Clark was named Ivy Player of the Year.

Mather House's Tina Lawler, the team's sweeper for the last two seasons, received All-Ivy accolades in both of those campaigns.

Though the senior defender has not garnered the attention many of her fellow teammates have, Lawler has been an integral cog in Harvard's field hockey machine for the last three years.

Beginnings

Lawler grew up in nearby Wellesley, Mass., where she played soccer for a regional team in the spring and swam competitively throughout high school.

"I wanted to be Tina Lawler when I was growing up," fellow Welleslian Liz Berkery said. "She was a really good athlete."

After enrolling in Newton Country Day School in seventh grade, Lawler followed in her sister's footsteps by taking up field hockey.

Lawler's high school teams were as successful then as Harvard's are now.

Newton Country Day won its conference both her junior and senior year, making it all the way to the New England Independent Schools semifinals in both seasons. Quite an accomplishment considering Lawler's graduating class numbered a puny 40 girls.

While at Harvard...

It was Harvard's academic reputation that drew the English concentrator to Cambridge.

Lawler was recruited for field hockey by Nita Lambourghini, Harvard's head coach before Sue Caples took the helm in 1988. She spent her freshman year playing for the junior varsity--which was a "good but humbling experience."

"I was forewarned by my high school coach that I would have more success at a smaller school," Lawler admits. "But playing J.V. enabled me to play all the time and improve in a non-threatening environment."