Freshman Francine Polet, shown in earlier action, took the field for the slumping Crimson squad in its loss against BC 4-0. The team was unable to net a single goal, and Harvard has now slid into a disappointing seven-game losing streak.
Two weeks to the day after falling to No. 11 ranked Northeastern by strokes, the Harvard field hockey team pushed No. 14 Boston College (11-4, 1-3 ACC) to the limit yesterday before a late surge put the Crimson (5-8, 1-3 Ivy) away in Chesnut Hill.
The 4-0 decision was Harvard’s seventh consecutive loss.
Despite a goal with 22:08 remaining in the first half by the Eagles’ Crystal Frates, the Crimson had reason for optimism at the half.
Trailing just 1-0, Harvard opened the second half with heavy pressure on the Eagles defense and had several scoring chances narrowly miss the net or find the post.
“We are just really unlucky, and it’s really unfortunate,” senior midfielder Jen McDavitt said. “All we can do is just keep shooting.”
After weathering the initial storm, BC slowly regained control and added three late goals to close out the game, the first coming with 23:47 to play.
Despite the shutout, the game did signal a promising turn for the Crimson offense, which has struggled of late.
Even though Harvard was outshot 10-3 in the first half, the Crimson attack matched the Eagles nearly stroke for stroke in the second half, finishing with an 19-11 deficit in shots.
“I think we generated good attack through our midfield, and really had some great opportunities to score,” Harvard coach Sue Caples said. “Those were quality shots, and we’re hitting the post, we’re ringing the bell, all the way around...we were creating good opportunities and we’ve just got to keep shooting because those will start to fall.”
While the offense appeared ascendant in the loss, the usually stout defense struggled against a talented BC attack, surrendering the second-highest total of the season.
“Early on we got caught in some man down situations...we gave up an easy corner that resulted in the first goal and we can’t make mistake, mistake, mistake like that because they’re tough,” Caples said. “These guys [BC] can score goals; they’re like highlight-tape kind of goals.”
Caples also spent the last few minutes of the game watching from the bank above the field instead of the sideline.
Following BC’s final goal, Caples argued that the Eagles had players within five yards of the ball on a restart, a violation that should have returned possession to Harvard.
The official took exception and gave Caples a yellow card, but did not eject her.
“It’s frustration. I should be more composed,” Caples said. “But we had it called against us at critical times. It was like a timeout for me.”
The Crimson hopes to end its string of losses in close games against Ivy League competition over the weekend as it faces Princeton at Jordan Field on Saturday.
In the seven-game streak, just two games have been decided by more than one goal.
“It’s definitely been hard...we’re a very resilient team, we’re very resilient people, and we will come back,” McDavitt said. “We’re going to put it behind us, and we’re going to be better from it, and it’s tough when you have to say that again and again.”