Junior midfielder Kate Gannon gathered in a pass from senior Liz Andrews and skated the ball past Penn netminder Liz Schlossberg to give the Harvard field hockey team a 3-2 overtime victory over Ivy rival Penn on Saturday.
“The goal itself felt really good,” Gannon said. “But I think I owed it to my team. My play was subpar for most of the game, so to be able to finish it meant a lot.”
Gannon wasn’t the only Crimson player to pick up her play as the game progressed.
Harvard struggled through the first fifty minutes, falling behind the Quakers (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) 2-0 before mounting a furious comeback to win the dramatic, heart-wrenching thriller.
With nineteen minutes to play, Crimson coach Sue Caples called a timeout to awaken her team. With the players circled around her, Caples’ strong voice seemed to give her team the intensity it so desperately needed.
Finally playing with a sense of urgency, Harvard seized the momentum on a penalty corner. After receiving the pass from senior forward Mina Pell, tri-captain back Jen Ahn nudged the ball to sophomore midfielder Jen McDavitt, who sent a beautiful shot past the Quakers goalie for her first goal of the season.
The Crimson then pulled even in the 61st minute as junior forward Tiffany Egnaczyk awakened the crowd with an unassisted score, setting the stage for Gannon’s heroics 6:50 into overtime.
Penn opened the scoring less than ten minutes into the match when Liz Lorelli slung the ball in front of tri-captain goalkeeper Katie Zacarian. After diving toward Lorelli’s fake, Zacarian watched hopelessly from the ground as Penn’s Jackie Lange quickly tapped the ball into the vacant goal, putting Zacarian’s ongoing bid to become Harvard’s career leader in shutouts on hiatus.
After the goal, the Crimson quickly gained its composure and continued to apply pressure on the offensive end of the field. Harvard had a number of great opportunities to close out the first half, but repeatedly failed to convert.
“We needed to make a lot of on-the-field adjustments in the first half, and we needed to be able to do that on the field, and we didn’t,” Caples said.
Penn scored again in the sixth minute of the second half.
Once again, Zacarian went to the ground to save the ball. Though the Crimson netminder made the first save, Lorelli flipped the rebound over Zacarian, adding a goal to her first-period assist.
Meanwhile, the injury bug made another stop by Jordan Field, as junior midfielder Shelley Maasdorp joined tri-captain Kate McDavitt on the sidelines. Standing with her teammates near the bench, Maasdorp cheered loudly, but her vocal contribution was the only support she was able to lend to Harvard.
Caples would not comment as to the severity of the injuries.
A final bright spot in the game was freshman forward Julie Lane. Playing with a fast, yet controlled aggressiveness, Lane continued to show promise coming off the Crimson bench and serving as a spark plug.