The Harvard women’s lacrosse team fell behind 7-0 in the first half at Princeton on Saturday and never recovered, losing 12-2.
The Crimson (2-9, 0-4 Ivy), coming off an impressive win over New Hampshire, looked to add to its momentum against a Princeton team whose two leading scorers had both recently suffered ankle injuries. But the Tigers (8-4, 3-1) were able to spread the offensive load, relying on seven different goal scorers as they demolished the Crimson.
“They were always moving,” freshman goaltender Kristin Demorest said. “When they passed and when they caught, they were always moving their feet, which made them very hard to defend.”
Trailing 9-1 after the first half, Harvard would have had to mount a serious comeback even to make the game close.
But the Crimson was not up to the task. Princeton senior Alex Fiore netted one just after halftime.
Harvard retaliated when junior midfielder Jen Brooks managed to convert off a free position shot with 24 minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late.
Princeton coasted for the rest of the game, keeping the Harvard offense in check while adding two more goals to its already insurmountable lead.
The Crimson was never really in the game. Princeton struck in the first 48 seconds when Katie Coyne put one past Harvard junior goaltender Laura Mancini, who had 11 saves on the day.
Having drawn first blood, the Tigers were unrelenting. Leigh Slonaker followed with her first of three goals a few moments later, and Princeton continued to pressure, tacking on five more scores to make it 7-0 after just 20 minutes.
“They capitalized on every opportunity we gave them,” freshman defender Bridget Driscoll said. “Every time we were down, they would score.”
Harvard finally got on the board when co-captain midfielder Katie Shaughnessy drove one into the net with 10 minutes left in the first.
But the Tigers responded with two more goals before the end of the half to take a comfortable eight-goal cushion into the break.
“Our offense is starting to improve a lot,” Demorest said. “Princeton just has a very good defense. They possessed the ball better than we did.”
The Crimson will still be looking for its first Ivy League win when it travels north to Dartmouth this Wednesday for a six o’clock game.
“Dartmouth should be a better game,” Driscoll said. “We’ll focus more on transition and controlling the ball.”
“[To beat the Big Green,] we need to keep possession and control the tempo of the game.” Demorest said. “We need to take control.”