With the remnants of Hurricane Ivan making Jordan Field more like Jordan Swamp, Maine (6-3) dealt the Crimson (4-1) its first loss of the season, a 2-0 setback on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the fact that Harvard owned a 13-3 advantage in penalty corners and an 11-4 edge in shots on goal, the Black Bears dealt their host its first shutout and made the most of the few opportunities they got.
“It was good that we kept them to only four shots, but it was frustrating that they could do what we couldn’t on a lot fewer opportunities,” sophomore midfielder Audrey Ziomek said.
Maine got on the board early. Forward Traci Rainone corralled the rebound from Liz Mindell’s shot and directed the ball past Crimson senior goalie Aliaa Remtilla in the fifth minute.
The wet conditions caused a scoring draught, with passing and dribbling all but stifled by ubiquitous puddles.
“It was hard to move the ball with any speed,” Ziomek said. “We like to play a big game and change the field, but we were forced to play small.”
“We had to adapt to the conditions that we were playing in and Maine was more effective at adapting than we were,” sophomore forward Julie Lane added.
All the precipitation also affected the Harvard penalty corner. Forced to insert the ball on the goalie’s left, rather than the right side that the Crimson customarily uses, Harvard could not find the net on any of its 11 first-half corners.
“We couldn’t insert the way we normally do because the ball wasn’t moving fast enough, but we still should’ve been able to put something in,” Ziomek said.
For the rest of the first half and much of the second period a majority of the turf surface of the field was submerged in upwards of half an inch of water.
“It was basically a kiddie pool of water,” Ziomek said.
With about 15 minutes left in the contest, the rains subsided, but Harvard still couldn’t get settled.
“We weren’t able to get back into the game that we normally do, our quick passing game,” Ziomek said.
The Black Bears were awarded a penalty corner with just under 11 minutes to play, and midfielders Emily Dooling and Katie Flaherty set up back Joanna Fernandes for a straight shot that Fernandes lifted high and into the top corner of the cage.
The goal was a back-breaker for a Crimson team that was desperately trying to level the score near the end of the game.