The Big Red was larger than life yesterday as No. 14 Cornell easily downed the Harvard women's lacrosse team, 18-8, in the Crimson's final game of the season.
Harvard (6-7, 3-4 Ivy) had an uncharacteristically slow start to the game, falling behind 5-1 to Cornell (10-4, 4-2 Ivy) midway through the first half.
The Big Red capitalized on free possessions, scoring six times on penalty shots.
Cornell gave an early glimpse of the offensive duo that would haunt the Crimson for the next 60 minutes, when freshman Sarah Averson scored off an assist from sophomore Lori Wohlschlgel just 2:20 into the game.
Wohlschlgel scored five goals and had four assists while Averson netted five with a pair of helpers as the young tandem combined to single-handedly outscore the entire Crimson squad.
Junior co-captain Alli Harper was once again a bright light for the Crimson, scoring a pair with two assists.
Over the last week, Harper has ten goals in three games as the Crimson defeated Columbia and Notre Dame in South Bend prior to yesterday's defeat.
Junior Courtney Leimkuhler, freshman Jamie Hagerman and sophomores Lizzy Frisbie and Hilary Walton each tallied goals, while freshman Katie Shaughnessy netted a pair.
Throughout the first half, the Crimson fought doggedly to prevent the Big Red from opening a commanding lead.
After Cornell went ahead 5-1, Harper and Frisbie scored two minutes apart to cut the lead to 6-3.
With six minutes remaining in the half, Jamiee Reynolds scored to put Cornell in front 8-3.
Harvard once again demonstrated resilience, as Hagerman responded with a goal assisted by Lauren Corkery just 12 seconds later to cut the lead back to four.
Heading into halftime trailing 9-4, the game was still within reach for the Crimson if it could pull off a strong second half performance.
Cornell opened the half with a pair of quick goals in the opening five minutes to widen the lead to 11-4 and dash the Crimson's last hopes of a comeback.
Harvard made a small comeback in the middle of the second half to cut the lead down to 15-8 with nine minutes remaining.
Cornell replied with three goals in the final five minutes, including one with only 24 seconds remaining in the game, to round out the scoring.
The win by the Big Red ended a moderately successful season for the rebuilding Crimson.
With nine freshmen on the squad and a core group of young players to lead the team next year, the Crimson should look to improve its record next season.
Although the team's record may not reflect it, Harvard played well against some of the top teams in country, outscoring and outplaying both No. 2 Dartmouth and former No. 10 Yale in the first half before eventually falling in close decisions.
The Crimson will need to replace both co-captain Jeanne Ficociello and senior Becca Brown on defense, but with only two graduating seniors and a quickly improving defense led by freshman goaltender Nora Guyer, Harvard should return as a major force in the Ivy league within the next two years.