This was not one of those matches.
The Harvard women’s soccer team destroyed Holy Cross yesterday on Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass., by a score of 6-0, doubling its previous best goal production from this season. The outcome came as little surprise to the Crimson.
“We weren’t going in cocky, but we definitely expected to win,” said freshman midfielder Katie Johnston.
Harvard (5-3-4) scored early and often against the overwhelmed Crusaders (1-12), eliminating any thoughts that the home team might have harbored about upsetting the Crimson.
“These types of games help us prepare for the more important games, which are the Ivy League games,” Johnston said. “We still need to make sure we’re performing well.”
Senior back Lauren Cozzolino echoed her sentiment.
“We tried to take the game as an opportunity to work on things and to get people into the game,” she said. “We had a chance to take the things that we worked on in practice and work on them in an actual game.”
Sophomore midfielder Maile Tavepholjalern broke the ice for Harvard at the 8:55 mark off passes from senior midfielder Katie Westfall and sophomore forward Sara Sedgwick. The goal was Tavepholjalern’s first of the year and just the second of her young career.
Westfall followed up her Ivy League co-Player of the Week award with three assists in the match, moving her into sole possession of third place on Harvard’s all-time assist list with 28.
The Crimson continued to pour on the pressure in the first half, pushing the score to 4-0 at the half on goals by junior midfielder Alisha Moran, senior forward Alisa Sato and junior forward Emily Colvin.
After the break, Harvard again came out firing as Tavepholjalern recorded her second goal of the game.
“The fact that we had six goals and that they came from different people is great,” Cozzolino said. “Maile had her first two goals this season and two goals from a center midfielder is huge for us.”
The Crimson extended the lead to the final margin when Moran tallied her second goal of the game. With the goals, Moran pushed her team-leading total on the season to eight. Harvard’s leading goal-scorer last season scored only six goals.
Despite the flurry of goals, Johnston feels that the Crimson could have capitalized on more of its opportunities in the match.
“We could still work on finishing,” she said. “We could have won by even more.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Shields recorded her fourth shutout of the season. Shields opened the season platooning with fellow sophomore Maja Agustsdottir but took over the starting job early with her stellar play in the net. She has now allowed just five goals in 1,025 minutes of action.
Harvard returns to action on Saturday on Ohiri Field when it hosts Brown in an Ivy League matchup. The team hopes to duplicate some of the success that it experienced against Holy Cross.
“We’re hoping to come out hard in the first 20 minutes and not even let them into the game,” Johnston said.