The Harvard field hockey team could have really used some of Albert Einstein's laws on Saturday.
A little dose of relativity on the old game clock might have given the Crimson a victory against the Providence Friars.
But alas, the 70-minute game time remained undilated and Harvard (0-0 Ivy, 1-3 overall) lost, 3-1, after holding a 1-0 advantage through the first three-quarters of the game.
"We're playing a 55 minute game instead of 70,"captain Megan Colligan said. "We thought that we could sit on a 1-0 lead."
In the first half, none of these worries penetrated the player's minds. Harvard dominated the first 35 minutes of play, during which time it scored the game's first goal.
Sophomore Courtenay Benedict, on a corner shot, passed to sophomore Daphne Clark, who lifted a shot at the net.
The Friar goalie couldn't hold on to the ball, and then Benedict suddenly appeared again to notch the Crimson's only goal.
The score stayed the same through the rest of the first half, and the game seemed to be in the proverbial bag.
"At the end of the first half I thought that maybe we'd do it," Benedict said.
But when the second half began, all that confidence mysteriously vaporized, and Harvard was never the same.
"In the second half we let up," junior Maureen O'Brien said. "We didn't play the game we were capable of."
Even so, the Crimson held the lead--for a short time. But for Providence, the game was like an expanding water balloon, only needing a tiny break to bust it open.
That break came in the form of a questionable referee's call. The Friars were given a stroke--essentially a free shot--near the Harvard goal, despite Crimson protests.
But the pleas went unheeded, and Providence took the opportunity and tied the game with it.
And then the floodgates opened. The Friars scored their second goal soon after that on a breakaway, and took its first lead of the game.
That forced Harvard to pull its defense up into an attacking role as the Crimson hoped to pound a retying goal with the clock running out.
The fourth goal of the game was not Harvard's however, but instead it was another tally for Providence on a slick counterattack, and the game was pretty much over.
In the end, it was another loss for a team that has talent, but has so far been unable keep things going for full game.
"It's a concentration thing," O'Brien said. "We have the skills, but we can't get a 1-0 lead and settle back."
"Hopefully this will be the last time we'll be ahead in a game like that and lose," Colligan said. "I think that with such a young, enthusiastic, athletic team we'll get better."
Harvard only has one more non-conference game--against Spring-field this Wednesday--before its Ivy League schedule kicks in with Cornell on Saturday.
In other words, spring training is winding down for the Crimson, and it is time to find out if Harvard is as good as it can be.
"Right now we all want it," Benedict said. "We have all the skills-- we just have to put it together."
Time is of the essence, however, and so the Crimson had better get started quickly if it hopes to notch up an Ivy League title.