W. Lax Falls in OT, 10-9
Even if the score didn't show it, the Harvard women's lacrosse team (5-9, 2-5 Ivy) did end the season on a good note Saturday against No. 19 Cornell (9-5, 3-4 Ivy).
With 12 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Cornell freshman Ginny Miles scored to lead the Big Red to a 10-9 margin. Although it was the Crimson's first loss to the Big Red in 20 contests, it was also Harvard's strongest team showing of the season.
"It was a good culminating game," tricaptain Becca Brown said. "It could have gone either way, and it was the best game of the season as far as our coming together as a team."
Harvard came out strong early, building a 5-3 lead by halftime. However, at the beginning of the second half, Cornell started to fight back by creating good scoring opportunities.
After Cornell hit the back of the cage, Harvard managed to regain its two-goal lead with a goal from sophomore Lauren Corkery. But, with 11:25 remaining, Cornell had rallied to take its first lead of the afternoon.
"We weren't able to find the best shots toward the end of the game," Brown said. "The Cornell defense had tightened up considerably."
Yet Harvard continued to produce goals. At 7:08, it reclaimed the lead 8-7 after two unanswered goals. But Cornell wasn't ready to give up yet. Just two minutes later, the Big Red evened the score at 8-8.
"Although we played well and came out strong, our play was somewhat inconsistent throughout the game," senior Clare Parker said.
With freshman Melissa Christino's goal just 40 seconds later, Harvard pushed ahead 9-8. Harvard maintained ball control, and with one minute remaining, it looked as though Harvard would pull off a dramatic win.
But Cornell sophomore Jen Chong dashed those hopes by sending a ball into the back of the net with only nine seconds remaining in the contest.
It was time for overtime.
Again it was the final seconds of the period that spelled doom for the Crimson. With 12 seconds left in the first overtime period, Cornell scored a goal to put the Big Red ahead for the remainder of the match-up.
"We were probably a little fatigued, but we played really well in overtime," Brown said. "We didn't break down, and we all wanted to win really badly. It could have gone either way."
Captain Claudia Asano, Christino, and Parker led Harvard with two goals apiece. Also contributing to the scoreboard were sophomore Megan Austin, freshman Heather Hussey, and Corkery.
This was the final game of the season for Harvard, and after getting over the initial disappointment that comes with a season-ending loss, the team is looking forward to next year.
"We are a very young team," Brown said. "We had nine newcomers this year, and we have developed a momentum this year that bodes well for next year. But we will be very sad to lose Clare, Claudia, and Laura [Dahmen]."
As for the seniors, they close out their collegiate experience with positive feelings.
"We ended it well. I wish we could have won, but I feel good about the game," Parker said. "This team has a great future and great foundations for next year." HARVARD 9 CORNELL 10