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.