Despite graduating last year’s top scorer, Kate McDavitt ’04, assists leader, Mina Pell ’04, all-time shutout leader, Katie Zacarian ’04, and the best defensive player in school history, Jen Ahn ’04, Harvard relied on its youth as it reeled off three straight wins and outscored its opponents by a total of 11-2.
HARVARD 3, PENN 1
After a scoreless first half against the Quakers (1-3, 0-1 Ivy), sophomore forward Gretchen Fuller picked up right where she left off.
Fuller scored her third goal in two games to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead, knocking in her own rebound past Quaker netminder Liz Schlossberg at 47:23.
Senior midfielder and third-team All-American Shelley Maasdorp then piled on her second of the year at 52:19 for the game-winner on a penalty corner assist from captain midfielder Kate Gannon. Junior midfielder Jane Sackovich then added the Crimson’s third goal late in the game at 60:29.
“The sophomores, especially, are really stepping up,” senior forward Tiffany Egnaczyk said. “New roles were left open by graduated seniors and they have really stepped up to the task and taken advantage of their opportunities.”
Penn had actually outshot the Crimson 6-3 and had four more penalty shots by halftime, but the Harvard offense awoke behind the defense’s stifling effort.
With little over five minutes remaining in the game, at last the Quakers struck. Quaker forward Kristen Gray halted senior goaltender Aliaa Remtilla’s shutout bid and notched only the second goal that has been scored against the Crimson this season.
“It’s certainly a challenge at the start to figure out where everyone’s going to end up, which lines are going to work best, but we’ve really transitioned well,” Gannon said. “The three wins under our belt already are evidence to our work all last spring, our work in the preseason, and the confidence we’ve built.”
With the victory, Crimson head coach Sue Caples improves to 149 career wins and will go for 150 this Thursday at home at 7 p.m. against Providence.
HARVARD 4, NEW HAMPSHIRE 0
The Crimson got a pair of goals from sophomore forward Julie Lane and Fuller and the defense recorded its first shutout of the year as Harvard cruised past the Wildcats (1-3) in Durham, N.H., last Thursday.
Fuller knocked in the eventual game-winner 7:27 into the contest, deflecting Egnaczyk’s shot just under the crossbar off a penalty corner.
The Crimson kept coming, notching three more goals before the half.
Taking in a centering pass from Gannon and sweeping it past New Hampshire goalie Christine Buckley, Lane pushed the lead to 2-0.
Fuller responded with another score, knocking in a rebound from her own initial shot at 19:09. The final goal again came from Lane, who tipped Maasdorp’s shot off a penalty corner into the cage at 23:55.
Remtilla and Anne Haig shared the shutout, with Remtilla making five saves and Haig none.
HARVARD 4, UMASS 1
Harvard opened its season in grand fashion, as the Crimson surged past UMass (0-4) 4-1 last Sunday in Amherst, Mass. Four different players of four different years scored for Harvard.
The Minutewomen grabbed an early lead when Adrianne Monaco scored at 18:27.
Less than two minutes later, the Crimson got the equalizer. Following a penalty corner, UMass goalie Christine Tocco saved a Lane shot, but a follow-up shot in front of the net struck the leg of a defender and gave Harvard a penalty stroke.
Freshman midfielder Tamara Sobek-Rosnick came off the bench and beat Tocco to the upper-right corner of the cage.
Three minutes later the Crimson snatched the lead for good, as junior forward Laura Werner smacked a pass from junior midfielder Jen McDavitt into the net from five yards out.
The margin was pushed to 3-1 at the 21:23 mark as Lane scored off a give from McDavitt after a penalty corner.
The score would remain the same heading into the intermission, but the second half was controlled by Harvard. The Minutewomen did not record a shot in the period, and Maasdorp added a final score from a nifty reverse chip off a feed from McDavitt with 15:31 remaining.
Remtilla made one save as the Crimson out shot UMass 25-3 and held a 9-0 edge in penalty corners.
—Staff writer J. Patrick Coyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Pablo S. Torre can be reached can be reached at email@example.com.